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Reproduced by permission of SIR EDWARD J. POYNTER, Bart., P.R.A., from his 

original Cartoon (now at theVictoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington], 

for the decoration of the Central Hall of the Houses of Parliament. 












Published for the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion 


Contents of Volume II 


S. Cadell S. Ewryd 

List of Illustrations 

S. David. From the Original Cartoon by Sir Edward J. Poynter, Bart., 
P.R.A., for the Decoration of the Central Hall of the Houses of Parlia- 
ment . . . . . ' * . . Frontispiece 

S. Cadfan. From Statue in the Chapel of S. Venec, Briec, 

Finistere ........... 8 

Bed of S. Cadoc, He de S. Cadou . . . . . . . 26 

He de S. Cadou, near Belz ........ 27 

S. Cadoc. From Statuette at Lampaul-Guimiliau . . . .38 

S. Canna's Chair. From the " Archceologia Cambrensis " . . .70 
S. Canna. From Fifteenth-Century Tomb at Beaumaris .... 70 

Cadair Gawrdaf . . . . . . . . . .96 

S. Cenydd. From Statue at Ploumelin . .- . . .112 

Map of South of Ireland, showing the Clans . . .. . .120 

S. Clether's Holy Well, Cornwall 150 

S. Corentine. From a Statue at the Abbey of Landevennec . . .. 182 

S. Creda. From Fresco in Lanivet Church (restored) . . . .186 


i v List of Illustrations 

Church of Llangwyfan. From Sketch by Mr. Harold Hughes in the 

. ,, 2OI 

" ArchcBologia Cambrensis 

S. Cybi. From Painting on Rood-loft, Lew Trenchard, Devon . . 204 

Doorway of Holy Well, Llangybi, Carnarvonshire . 
S. David. From Statue at S. Yvi, near Quimper . 
S. Deiniol. From Fifteenth-Century Glass in Chancel Window, Llandyrnog 

Church, Denbighshire . ... 

SS. Dredenau. Statues in their Chapel at S. Geran . 
Map of the Settlements of S. Dubricius and his Disciples 
Map of the Foundations of S. Dubricius and his Disciples 

Bardsey Island 

S. Dubricius. From Ancient Roll, copied in one of the Dugdale MSS. 

in the Bodleian Library 

S. Edeyrn. From Fifteenth-Century Glass at Plogonnec, Finistere . . 409 
Shrine of S. Elian at Llaneilian 

Shrine of S. Endelient, Endelion, Cornwall . 454 

S. Ernin. From a Statue at S. Nicholas, Prisiac . 464 

S. Eugrad (Ergat). From a Statue at Treouergat . . .468 


Vol ii 

S. CADELL, Confessor 

THE early gedigrees in Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45 and Hafod MS. 
1 6 enter this Saint simply as Cadell ab Urien ; but the lolo MSS., 1 
through the mistake of making the next entry (S. Buan) part of 
his pedigree, give him as son of Urien Rion ab Llywarch Hen, Urien 
Foeddog ab Rhun Rhion ab Llywarch Hen, and Urien ab Rhun. 
He was a member, we are told, of S. Catwg's Cor at Llancarfan, 
and the founder of Liangadell, now extinct, but a capella at one 
time under Llancarfan. 2 He is also stated to have founded Sili, 
in Glamorgan, 3 that is, Sully, now dedicated to S. John Baptist. 
" Grang' de Eglescadel " is mentioned among the bona of the Abbot 
of Bardsey in the Taxatio of 1291. His festival is not given in any of 
the calendars. 

One document gives us another S. Cadell, 4 the son of Cawrdaf ab 
Caradog Freichfras. He had as brothers Cathan and Medrod. 
But the name appears to be a misreading. There was a Cadell bishop 
of S. David's in the gth century. 

S. CADFAN, Abbot, Confessor 

JUST after the middle or towards the close of the fifth century, a large 
company of British who had settled in Armorica, crossed over into 
Wales. They were led by Cadfan, son of Eneas Lydewig and his 
wife Gwen Teirbron, the daughter of Emyr Llydaw. According to 
Welsh traditions, the party accompanying Cadfan, " saints and 
learned men," were Padarn, Tydecho, Trunio, Maelrys, Cynon, Mael, 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 103, 128, 145 ; also Cambro-British Saints, p. 266, and Myv- 
Arch., p. 419. Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions Cadell ab Urien (Bruts, ed. 
Rhys and Evans, p. 200). 

2 Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 336. 3 lolo MSS., p. 221. * Ibid., p. 12.?. 

VOL. II. 1 R 

2 Lives of the British Saints 

Sullen, Ethrias (or Eithras), Henwyn, Tanwg, Llyvven, Llyfab, Tegai, 
Trillo, Llechid, Dochdwy, Tegwyn, Baglan, Meilir, Fflewin, Gredifael, 
Lleuddad, Sadwrn, Gwyndaf, liar, Cristiolus, Rhystyd, and many 
more. 1 The total number has been given as 847,2 but tnev represent 
three distinct migrations. 3 They were called the Gwelygordd or 
Saintly Clan of Emyr Llydaw, and they take up a good deal of place 
in the Welsh genealogies. The names of some of these occur in the 
Life of S. Padarn, under earlier forms, as Hetinlau, Catman, Titechon. 4 
In the Breviary of S. Malo, 1537, they occur as Tinlatu, Cathinam and 
Techo ; in the Treguier Legendarium, in the Bibliotheque Nationale, 
at Paris, MS. Lat. 1148, as Quilan, Cathinam, Techucho. Cathinam 
or Cathinan is probably Cadfan ; Techo or Techucho is Tydecho. 
Cadfan, we are told by one authority, came to this island " in the time 
of Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu (Vortigern) with Garmon, the son of Rhidigys, 
Jrom Gaul, his native country, to renew Faith and Baptism in this 
Island." 5 

Garmon, as we hope to show under Germanus the Armorican, did 
'leave Brittany, about 462. This was not Germanus of Auxerre, but 
the Germanus who later became Bishop of the Isle of Man, and died 
in 474. 

The name Cadfan appears earliest in the form Catamanus, which 
occurs on the Llangadwaladr (Anglesey) early seventh century in- 
scribed stone, put up to the memory of " King Cadfan, the wisest, 
the most renowned of all Kings." The intermediate form Catman 
occurs in the Vita S. Paterni. 6 An Anglian version of it is Caedmon, 
the name of the seventh century poet-monk of Whiiby. 

The reason of the migration can only be conjectured. Some, 
such as came with Germanus, doubtless did so to assist in the 
work that Saint had in hand along with Patrick, the supply of 
evangelists for Ireland. But this does not explain the advent in 
Wales of the great party of Cadfan, composed almost wholly of his 
kinsmen. It has been supposed by Rees that these Britons fled 
Armorica because of the encroachments of the Franks. But this 
supposition will not avail. 

There had been colonists from Britain settled in Armorica for some 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 103, in ; Myv. Arch., pp. 415, 419-20; Cambro-British 
Saints, p. 266. lolo MSS., p. 130, is wrong in making Cadfan's mother a 
granddaughter of Emyr. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 189. 

3 One band is said to have accompanied Garmon and settled at Llantwit ; 
another accompanied Cadfan and settled eventually in Bardsey. lolo MSS.', 
p. 131. 

4 Cambro-British Saints, p. 189. 5 lolo MSS., p. 103. 
6 Cambro-British Saints, p. 189. 

S. Cadfan 

time previous to the Saxon invasion of Britain, and about the mouth 
of the Loire these had been so numerous, that they had sent in 469 
their King Riothimus with twelve thousand men to assist the Emperor 
Anthemius against the Visigoths. 1 This is certain, that if there were 
Britons in large numbers in Armorica in 469, they must then have 
been settled there for some time previous. 

It was not till the battle of Vouille, fought in 507, that the Franks 
rendered themselves masters of Nantes. Gregory of Tours hints 
that the Britons of Armorica were independent under their kings, 
till after the death of Clovis, A.D. 511 ; after that they submitted to 
the overlordship of the Franks, and their chiefs no longer called 
themselves kings. 2 

The Greek historian Procopius says that " the Franks, after 
their victory over the last representatives of the Roman authority 
in Gaul, were incapable of struggling alone against the Visigoths and 
Alaric, and they sought the friendship of the Armoricans, and made 
alliance with them." 3 

The Lives of the early Breton Saints show that the British colonists 
were on excellent terms with the Frank kings, and that both chiefs 
and bishops and abbots sought from them confirmation of their titles 
to land. 

In fact, the new settlers who spread through the country .could 
not get on. pleasantly with the Gallo-Roman citizens of Rennes, 
Nantes and Vannes. Magistrates and Bishops alike viewed them 
with disfavour, as having their own laws, their own customs and their 
own independent ecclesiastical organization. The British colonists 
would neither recognize the civil jurisdiction of the magistrates, nor 
the ecclesiastical authority of the bishops. The new-comers could 
expect no assistance from their native isle, where those who remained 
were engaged in deadly conflict with the Teutonic invaders, and they 
sought for some authority that would maintain them against 
the pretensions of the Gallo-Romans in the great towns. They 
sought and obtained what they required at the hands of the Frank 
kings in Paris. There does not exist a particle of evidence to show 
that they came into conflict with the Franks till the time of Canao of 
Vannes, who took up the cause of Chramm against his father in 560. 

1 " Quod conspiciens Anthemius imperator protinus solatia Britonum postu- 
lavit. Rex eorum Riothimus cum xii. millibus in Biturigas civitatem, Oceano 
e navibus egressus, susceptus est." Jornandes, De rebus Gothicis, xlv. 

2 " Chanao . . . regnum ejus integrum accepit. Nam semper Britanni 
post mortem Clodovechis regis sub potestate Francorum fuerunt ; et duces 
eorum, comites, non reges appellati sunt." Hist. Francorum, iv, 4. 

3 De Bello Gothico, i, 12. 

4 Lives of the British Saints 

The Franks made no attempt to occupy Armorica, they confirmed the 
Britons in their settlements and did not dispossess them. 
The reason of the migration was most probably due to intestinal 


It has been said " Gallus Gallo lupus," and the same applies to all 
Celtic races. The subdivision of rights on the death of a prince led 
to fratricidal war, when the most headstrong and powerful of the 
brothers either murdered or expelled his brethren, usurped their 
tribal lands and rights, and reigned supreme. 

The family of Emyr Llydaw migrated from Broweroc, 1 that is to 
say from the modern department of Morbihan, where Weroc had 
usurped the sovereignty. But Cadfan himself probably came from 
Cornugallia, and thence Grallo had swept away all rivals and had there 
made himself supreme. 

The great flight of the families of Emyr and of Eneas across the sea, 
we may conjecture, was to save themselves from massacre by these 
two masterful men, Weroc and Grallo. 

Some of the party accompanying Cadfan were kinsmen. Padarn 
was son of Pedrwn, and therefore a first cousin on the mother's side. 
So was Tydecho, son of Amwn ; so also Trunio, son of Dyfwng. Gwyn- 
daf was his uncle ; Sulien a first cousin, son of Hywel ; Sadwrn was son 
of Bicanys brother of Emyr, Lleuddad son of Alan ab Emyr, and 
Maelrys was also a cousin, as son of Gwyddno. 

On his arrival in Wales, Cadfan founded a church at Towyn, in 
Merioneth, land having been granted him by the king, one Cyngen, 
as also another, Llangadfan, in Montgomeryshire. Later on he became 
first abbot, penrhaith, or principal, as he is styled, of Bangor Gadfan 
in Enlli, or Bardsey Isle, 2 at the instigation of Einion Frenin, prince 
of Lleyn in Carnarvonshire. 

Bangor Gadfan soon became very celebrated, for we are told that 
there were there, " a great many saints of the Welsh nation, whither 
they went after Bangor Fawr in Maelor had been destroyed by the 
pagan Saxons (607 or 613) ; and from the other Choirs a great many 
went also ; " 3 so many that Cor Gadfan at one time accommodated 
" 20,000 saints. There were no cells there, but every one did as he 
chose ; and after the 20,000 saints, Bardsey became a Choir with a 
cell of 500 saints." 4 

The little island became the Insula Sanctorum or the lona of Wales. 
It is called in the Book of LlanDdv, " Roma Britanniae," 5 'and 20,000, 


1 lolo MSS., pp. 103, 133, give Graweg for Broweroc. 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 133, 145. s Ibid., p. 112. Ibid., p. 151. 
5 P. i. 

S. Cadfan 

we are told, lie buried there, to whose memory the late Lord New- 
borough, who owned the island, and who himself was buried on it, 
erected a monument. Quaint old Thomas Fuller thought " it more 
facile to find graves in Bardsey for so many saints, than saints for so 
many graves." x There are two mediaeval poems, in the cywydd 
metre, to the 20,000 Saints, the one by Hywel ab Dafydd ab leuan ab 
Rhys, and the other by Hywel ab Rheinallt. Taliessin, in his " Gorchan 
Maelderw," in the thirteenth century Book of Aneurin, says : 

I do mutually wish for the repose of Enlli, 

The fair aspect of which is filled with deep interest ; z 

and the twelfth century poet Meilir, in his " Deathbed of the Bard," 
also fervently prayed that he might be laid " to rest in happiness " 
on Enlli, which he called the " holy isle of the saints." 3 

Owing to its sanctity and the danger often attending the voyage 
across, three pilgrimages thither were considered equal to a pilgrimage 
to Rome, ranking it as second to S. David's in this respect. 

There is a somew T hat long but obscure poem written in honour of 
S. Cadfan (Canu y Gaduari) by Llywelyn Fardd (ft. c. 1230-80). 4 
It is, however, in reality occupied principally with " Cadfan's high 
church near the shore of the blue sea," that is, the church of Towyn, 
which, he says, contained " three magnificent altars, famed formiracles." 
The first was that of the Blessed Virgin, the second that of S. Peter, 
and the third, " given by hand from heaven," was that of S. Cadfan. 
This church S. Cadfan founded after a divine pattern, when he came 
thither from Llydaw. It was " the glory of Meirionydd ; " and he 
praises its costly crozier, 3 which had the power of " checking the 
enemy, and causing them to fall upon each other ; " also its sanctuary ; 
numbers, he says, fled to the " abbot " for protection ; then its priests, 
its munificence, its relics, its choir and music ; its marble and its 
miracles " constantly visible." He invokes God's protection and 
blessing upon it and all its possessions ; and, in conclusion, eulogizes 
Cadfan and Lleuddad as guardians of Enlli. In course of the poem 
he speaks of Cadfan as " the guardian of battle," and as " a hero." 
The Saint is commonly regarded as the patron of warriors, from which 

1 Worthies, ed. 1840, iii, p. 528. 

2 Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, i, p. 416 ; ii, p. 98. 

3 " Ynys glan y glain," Myv. Arch., p. 142. Ynys Enlli probably stands for 
Ynys Fenlli (cf. Moel Fenlli). 

4 Ibid., pp. 248-250. 

" Myn Bagyl Gadfan ! " is quoted in Salisbury and Perri's Egluryn Ffrae- 
thineb, ed. 1807, p. 19. 

6 Lives of the British Saints 

we may suppose that he led a military life before he left Armorica. 
The fifteenth century poet, Lewis Glyn Cothi, in requesting the gift of 
a bow, compliments the subject of the poem with the epithet " mab 
Cadfan " (Cadfan's son). 1 

S. Cadfan is supposed to have had a preaching station on his route 
from Towyn to Llangadfan at Bryn yr Eglwys, near Abergynohvyn. 
a little to the north-east of Towyn. His memory is still preserved 
there in the names Pistyll Cadfan (his waterfall), Eisteddfa Gadfan (his 
seat), and Llwybr Cadfan (his path). This path or track, along which 
he is popularly said to have habitually travelled between Towyn and 
Llangadfan during his missionary labours, is still traced by the country 
people at various points on the route. 4 Lewis Morris, in his Celtic 
Remains, mentions Buarth Gadfan (his enclosure) and Dol Gadfan 
(his meadow) ; but Cadfan was not an uncommon name, and one 
is therefore not justified in assuming that all these apply to the 

A chapel dedicated to S. Cadfan stood at the north-east end of 
Towyn churchyard in 1620. The Holy Well of S. Cadfan lay a little 
below the church. It was much frequented for the cure of rheumatic, 
scrofulous, and cutaneous disorders. For the better accommodation 
of the public, it had been enclosed and made into two baths, each 
about six feet square, with four dressing-rooms attached, and placed 
under the charge of a caretaker. In 1894, the owners of the baths, 
finding that they did not pay, filled them up with stones, and con- 
verted the buildings into a coach-house and stables, 

Ffynnon Gadfan at Llangadfan has been partially closed. It lay 
a short distance from the church, and was at one time covered with 
a building. The efficacy of its waters was in great repute. When 
the present road leading from Cann Office to the church had to be 
carried over the well, care was taken to construct an arch above it. 

One of the chapels in Llangathen church, Carmarthenshire, is called 
Capel Cadfan. There is a Llethr Codfan (his slope) in the parish. 

The church of Towyn is a very interesting early Norman structure, 
a cross church with central tower. In its yard are four small menhirs 
marking off a quadrangular space. Graves are dense about it, but 
no interments are made within. Here, originally, stood the Cadfan 
stone, now removed to the church for preservation. 

It is a pillar stone seven feet long and about ten inches wide on the 
sides that are widest, the other two being considerably narrower. 

1 !T0r*s. Oxford. 1837, p. 375. 

* For the traces of it see R P. Morris, Centre/ Meirionydd. DolgeDey, 1890. 
PP- 540-1 ; also for the well at Towyn on p. 552, 

S. Cadfan 

The inscription on it has been supposed, bat wrongly, to be the 
earliest known specimen of early Welsh, It was deciphered by 
Williams ab Ithel as running 


and by him rendered " The body of Cyngen is on the side between 
where the marks win be/' the marks being the four upright stones in 
the churchyard. The rest of the inscription he read 



and translated, " Beneath a similar mound is extended Cadfan, sad 
that it should enclose the praise of the earth. May he rest without 
blemish." * 

The rendering has been generally disputed. Professor Rhys,* 
indeed, but this seems the extreme of criticism, questions whether the 
whole inscription be genuine. The stone was copied and engraved 
by Lhuyd before 1709, and by Dr. Taylor in 1761, and engravings 
are given of it in Cough's Camden. As usual with these early copes 
they are not accurate. 

It is not known for certain where S. Cadfan was buried. If the above 
reading of the inscription be in substance correct, then he was laid to 
rest at Towyn. But his body is also traditionally said to have reposed 
in Bardsey. He was succeeded by his cousin S. LJenddad as abbot, 
and both are regarded as patrons of Bardsey. 

His festival does not occur in any of the Welsh Calendars, but it is 
given as November I by Rees in his Essay on the Welsh Saints, and 
he is followed by Williams ab Ithel in his Calendar. Browne Willis 
gives the dedication of Llangadfan as AD Saints, and adds, "They 
keep their Feast on An Saints' Day, and not on the Sunday following, 
as elsewhere/' * Bishop Maddox (1736-43), in his MS. book Z, in 
the Episcopal Library at S. Asaph, gives " Wake on An S te Day." 
All Saints' Day is also given as the festival observed at Towyn. 

Dafydd ab Gwflym, in the fourteenth century, uses the expression, 
" Myn Delw Gadfan a'i grdg ! " (" By Cadfan's image and his 
cross ! ") * He had, no doubt, in mind the statue at Towyn, under 

* Arch. Camb.. 1850, pp. 96-7. See also Haddan and Stnbbs. Councils, etc., 
i, pp. 164-5. 

* Ibid.. 1874, p. 243 ; no forger of the seventeenth century could have written 
the Irish ^ for G. 

* Survey of S. Asaph. 1720, p. 293. * Works. 1789, p. 130. 

8 Lives of the British Saints 

which parish is entered, in the Valor of 1535, " Oblation' ad S'c'm 
Cadvan co'ibus annis xxvj 5. viij d." (iv, p. 427 ; vi, p. xxvi). 

It is by no means improbable that Cadfan re- visited Brittany when 
Grallo was dead, and he could do so in safety. 

In Brittany Cadfan is known only in Finistere and Cotes du Nord, 
and in the latter only in that part which is near the border of Finistere. 
It is significant that as he is associated with Germanus as going with 
him to Britain, so he should have a chapel at Brasparz adjoining 
Pleyben, of which S. Germanus is patron. It is perhaps, indeed it is 
probable, that it is a mistake which makes him one of the party crossing 
to Wales with Germanus ; but the coincidence remains ; and he may 
have been associated with the latter in Cornugallia. At Poullan near 
Douarnenez, he is patron of a church and parish, in a sandy region 
strewn with megalithic remains. As nothing was known there of the Life 
of S. Cadfan the present cure has replaced him by S. Cadoc. The 
Patronal Feast is, however, held there on Whitsun Day, whereas S. 
Cadoc's day is January 24. 

The most interesting memorial of him is a statue in the chapel of 
S. Venec on the road from Quimper to Chateaulin. Here is a group 
of Gwen Teirbron with her three children by her second husband 
Fragan, and, in addition, one of a man in armour, now ascribed to 
S. Gwethenoc, one of these later sons, but Gwethenoc was a monk and 
never anything else, whereas Cadfan is the patron of warriors. And 
a writer in the Bulletin de la Societe Archeologique de Finistere had 
already suggested that this figure actually represented the eldest of 
her sons, Cadfan. 

Cadfan was also the original patron of Cavan, in Cotes du Nord, 
and of S. Cava near the mouth of the Abervrach in Plouguerneau. 
There may have been other churches, as S. Cadou in the Sizun pro- 
montory, out of the Cadoc district, that have changed their patron, 
on account of so little being known of Cadfan. 

That he did come back to Brittany, such dedications as remain 
seem to show. And there was reason why he should. His half- 
brothers Winwaloe, Jacut and Gwethenoc were notable men there 
as monastic founders. But he was old, and they were young and 
vigorous ; their institutions nourished, and his decayed, and he returned 
to Wales, and died, either at Towyn or in Bardsey. No church in 
Brittany laid claims to possess his relics. 

The fixing of the dates of his life can be approximate only. Ger- 
manus came over about the year 462, and Cadfan crossed probably 
about the same time or a little later. Reesputs his arrival later, 
' Between the commencement of this century (the sixth) and the 


Statue incorrectly called S. Venec (S. Gwethenoc) in the Chapel of S. Venec, 
Briec, Finistere. 

S. Cadfarch 9 

synod of Brefi, may be dated the arrival of Cadfan at the head of a 
large company of saints from Armorica." * Einion Frenin was the 
great-grandson of Cunedda, and probably belonged to the first half 
of the sixth century. 

The lolo MSS. are not a very trustworthy authority. In them it 
is stated, " Dochdwy came with Cadfan to this island, and was in 
Bardsey, and afterwards he was Bishop in the Church of Teilo, in 
Llandaff , whilst Teilo was in Bardsey with the saints there, super- 
intending the Choir after the death of Cadfan." 2 Such a statement 
is clearly apocrj'phal. Teilo died about 580, and Cadfan was half 
brother of Winwaloe, the son of the same mother by a first husband, 
and consequently at least two years older than Winwaloe. This 
latter saint died in 532, " full of days." He was born about 457, and 
we may suppose that Cadfan was born at least as early as 447, but 
probably much earlier, if he were a grown man when he came over to 
Britain, about 462. 

S. CADFARCH, Confessor 

S. CADFARCH was a son of the well-known Caradog Freichfras ab 
Llyr Merini, by Tegau Eurfron, daughter of Nudd Hael, celebrated 
in the Triads for her beauty and chastity. He had as brothers SS. 
Cawrdaf, Tangwn, and Maethlu, and he was the father of S. Elgud. 3 
He was a saint or monk of Bangor Dunawd on the banks of the Dee, 
and, formerly, the patron of the church of Abererch, in the promontory 
of Lleyn. His brother Cawrdaf is now generally, and has been for 
some time, accounted the patron of Abererch, as also sometimes of 
Llangoed, in Anglesey, either solely or conjointly with Tangwn. 4 
The older genealogies, however, never associate Cawrdaf with either. 
There is a Ffynnon Gadfarch near the site of a now extinct capella, 
called Llangedwydd, at the northern end of Abererch parish, and a 

1 Essay on the Welsh Saints, p. 213. 2 lolo MSS., p. 112. 

3 Peniarth MSS. 16 (early thirteenth century) and 45 (late thirteenth cen- 
tury) ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., p. 420; lolo MSS., pp. 104, 123 ; Cambro- 
British Saints, p. 267. Some of the genealogies make him to be the son cf 
Cawrdaf, but he was really his brother (Myv. Arch., p. 420). 

4 See, e.g., the old parish lists in Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, pp. 912-3, 
and cf. Myv. Arch., pp. 423, 741. Browne Willis, Bangor, pp. 275, 282, gives 
both as dedicated to Cawrdaf. 


Lives of the British Saints 

Ffynnon Gawrdaf at Abererch. There is also a Cadair Gawrdaf (his 
chair) near the church. 

Cadfarch is the patron of Penegoes church, called occasionally 
Llangadfarch, in Montgomeryshire. On the chalice, dated 1728, the 
church is called " Ecclesia de Pen Egwest alias Llan Gadfarch." 
Ffynnon Gadfarch is mentioned in the terrier of 1687, and Bishop 
Maddox in his MS. book Z, in the Episcopal Library at S. Asaph, 
has the following note, " St. Gadfarch's Well is in one field of y e Glebe. 
Ano'yr Fed of y e Glebe is called Erw Gadfarch." The well is still 
esteemed for its efficacy in cases of rheumatism. One of the fields 
on the glebe belonging to Meifod is also called Ffynnon Gadfarch. 

His Festival, October 24, is not found in the earlier calendars, 
but it occurs in the calendars in the Welsh Prymers of 1618 and 1633, 
in the calendar prefixed to Allwydd Paradwys, 1670 (as Calofarch), 
and in almanacks generally of the eighteenth century. Browne 
Willis also gives the same day. 1 See S. CAWRDAF. 

His name has a parallel in the Greek 'iTTTro^a^o?. As a common 
noun it means a war-horse or charger. 

S. CADFRAWD, Bishop, Confessor 

His name occurs among the mythical gwelygordd or clan of Bran ab 
Llyr. His genealogy is variously given, as the son of Cadfan ab 
Cynan ab Eudaf ab Caradog ab Bran, and the son of Cadfan ab Eudaf 
ab Coel ab Cyllin ab Caradog ab Bran. He was the father of SS. 
Gwrmael and Cadgyfarch. He is said to be the patron of Caerleon 
(now S. Cadoc), and to have been a bishop, but his see is not given. 2 

It has been supposed that Cadfrawd was the same as Adelfius, who 
is recorded to have been present at the Council of Aries in 314, the 
names being " almost a translation of each other." 3 Caerleon may 
have been the seat of a bishopric, as Giraldus Cambrensis maintained, 
and Adelfius may have been bishop of the see, but there is no clear 
evidence that he came from this town or district. He is called in 
the entry " episcopus de civitate Colonia Londinensium." 4 There 
is evidently some error here. Haddan and Stubbs and others have 
suggested Legionensium for Londinensiiim, making it refer to Caerleon ; 

1 Bangor, p. 361. * lolo MSS., pp. 116, 135-6. 

3 Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 100. 4 Mansi, Cone., ii, p. 467. 

S. Cado 1 1 

but another reading and a more probable one finds favour, which 
takes it as standing for Lindensium, " of Lincoln." 1 

S. CADGYFARCH, Bishop, Confessor 

CADGYFARCH was a son of the previous saint, and brother of S. 
Gwrmael. 2 He is said to have been a bishop, but we are not told of 
what see, and to be the patron of the church of Bryn Buga, the old 
name for Usk, situated in the hundred or commote of the name in Mon- 
mouthshire. Usk church is now dedicated to S. Mary Magdalene 

S. CADO, CADOR, or CADWY, Prince, Confessor 

THIS saint was a son of Geraint, prince of Devon and Cornwall. He 
has been laid hold of by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and brought 
into his fictitious history. He makes Cador, Duke of Cornwall, come 
to the assistance of Arthur when besieging the Saxon Colgrin in York. 
Colgrin appeals for help to Germany, and Baldulf, brother of Colgrin, 
goes to his aid at the head of a body of six thousand men, but is waylaid 
by Cador and defeated. A little later, when Arthur hastens to Alclud, 
where Howel lies sick, and is besieged by the Picts and Scots, Cador is 
placed in command of the army opposed to the Saxons. " The 
Duke of Cornwall, who had the command of ten thousand men, would 
not as yet pursue the Saxons in their flight, but speedily made himself 
master of their ships. . . . After this he hastily pursued the enemy 
and allowed no quarter." Then we have Lucius Tiberius, procurator 
of the Roman Commonwealth, making war on Arthur, and in a great 
battle that ensues Cador distinguishes himself. 

All this rubbish may be cast aside. The sole element of truth in it, 
is the naming of Cado as Duke of Cornwall, and father of Constantine, 
probably " the tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Domnonia," 
whom Gildas assailed with such rancour. 

Cataw or Cado, with his brothers Cyngar, lestyn, and Selyf, are 

1 Bright, Early English Church History, pp. 10, n ; Haverfield in English 
Hist. Review, July, 1896, p. 419. 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 1 1 6, 136. 

1 2 Lives of the British Saints 

mentioned in the Myvyrian Bonedd * as sons of Geraint ab Erbin. 
They were saints of Llancarfan. In Peniarth MS. 127 (early sixteenth 
century) his name is written Cattw, but the lolo MSS* genealogies 
identify him with Caw, lord of Cwm Cawlwyd. The two were con- 
founded at an early period. 3 

Cato or Cado is mentioned in the Life of S. Carannog* where we are 
told, in an episode relating to the foundation of Carantock Church in 
Cornwall, that " in those times, Cato and Arthur ruled in that country, 
living at Dindraithov," that is, in Welsh, Dindraethwy, a place 
known to be in Cornwall " the Dun Tredui, the three-fossed fort 
of Crimthan Mor (366-378) in Britain, when the Gadhels held sway 
there down to the Ictian Sea." 5 He is mentioned, as " Cathov films 
Gerentonis," in the Genealogy of S. Winnoc. Cado, son of Geraint, 
occurs in the early fifteenth century pedigrees in the Jesus College 
(Oxon) MS. 20, and he is there given a son, Pedur or Peredur, who is 
probably to be identified with the Berth, son of Cado, in the Tale 
of Culhwch and Olwen. 6 His name assumes also the form Cadwy ; 
and he is mentioned in the Triads 7 as one of the three men (al. 
the three in Arthur's court) who were " best towards guests and 
strangers." 8 

No churches bear the name of Cado in Wales or in Cornwall. It is 
possible that Portscatho may be named after him ; it is in a portion of 
Cornwall redolent with reminiscences of Geraint and the royal Dom- 
nonian family. But probably any church he may have founded, if he 
did found any, has been attributed to the better known and more 
popular Cadoc. 


THE conversion of S. Illtyd took place when he was a married man, 
when he was hardly younger or older than twenty-seven. He became 
a famous abbot, and the epoch when he exercised his great influence 

1 Myv. Arch., pp. 421, 423. 2 pp Il6> I;?6< 

3 Caw is in one passage in the Tale of Culhwch and Olwen (Oxford Mabinogion, 
p. 123) called Cado, and in the Bonedd in Hafod MS. 16, Cadw. Cado also 
occurs for Cato the Philosopher. 

4 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 99-100. 

5 Cormac's Glossary ; Old Irish Glossaries, W. Stokes, Lond. 1862 p xlviii 

6 Oxf. Mabin., p. 108. 

7 Myv. Arch., p. 393 ; see also Oxf. Mabin., pp. 106, 159. 

8 See Mr. Egerton Phillimore's valuable note in Y Cymmrodor, xi, pp. 90-1. 

S. Cadoc 13 

as a teacher was between 490 and 520. His pupils, Gildas, Samson, and 
Paul died towards the end of the sixth century. There is reason to 
believe that Illtyd died between 527 and 537, and we cannot put his 
conversion much later than 476. 

The famous Cadoc, or Catwg, of Llancarfan was contemporary 
with Gildas, Samson, David, and Paulus Aurelianus. He died about 
577. He was nephew of Paul Penychen, with whom, before his con- 
version, Illtyd served as a fighting man. It is not therefore possible 
to admit, with the authors of the Lives of S. Cadoc and of S. Illtyd, 
that this latter was converted by Cadoc of Llancarfan, who was 
born not before 497. 

But that there was a Cadoc or Catwg an abbot in South Wales before 
the renowned saint of that name, son of Gwynllyw, is more than doubt- 
ful. The statements made in the lolo MSS. are not of much value ; 
they are late. According to them Garmon appointed both Illtyd and 
Catwg to be abbots. 1 Now the Garmon here referred to was certainly 
not Germanus of Auxerre, as we hope to show later, but Germanus 
the Armorican, who died Bishop of Man in 474. This Germanus did 
have something to do with Illtyd, as we learn from the Life of 
S. Brioc. The late Brychan lists 2 give a Cadoc son of Brychan, and 
these are responsible for the statement that "he was made bishop by 
Dyfrig, his brother," and that "he went to France where he lies buried." 3 
But neither version of the Cognatio knows anything of a Cadoc the 
son of Brychan. His name is clearly a misreading of the late genealo- 
gies for Rydoch (i.e. ludoc), or Ridoc, the Reidoc of the Jesus Coll. 
MS. 20. 

There was a Cadoc or Caidoc who crossed to the land of the Morini 
from Britain at the close of the sixth century, and was the means of 
the conversion of S. Ricarius, and the foundation of the Abbey of 
Centule in 627. There this Cadoc died and was buried, and an epitaph 
was composed for his tomb by S. Angilbert, Abbot of Centule. He is 
commemorated on May 30. 4 Of his parentage the Welsh authorities 
have no record. 

The origin of the story of the association of Cadoc with Illtyd that 
occurs both in the Life of S. Illtyd and in that of S. Cadoc would seem 
to be this. A tradition was current that Illtyd when in the service 
of Paul Penychen had been hunting one day in the Carfan valley, 
when many of his comrades floundered into the bogs that occupied 

1 lolo MSS., p. 131. 

2 Ibid., pp. in, 119, 140; Myv. Arch., p. 419. 

3 lolo MSS., p. 119 ; Peniarth MS. 75, p. 53. 

4 Acta SS. Boll., Mai, vii, pp. 262-3. 

14. Lives of the British Saints 

-the bottom and perished, and this so affected the mind of Illtyd that he 
renounced the world. At the same time another tradition told how 
that Cadoc, when at a place unnamed, was harassed by the servants 
of Sawyl Benuchel, who demanded of him a meal, and were cursed by 
him, and perished miserably in a morass. 

The author of the Vita 5. Iltuti knew of both these legends, and 
fused them together. He turned Sawyl Benuchel into Pawl Penychen, 
and located the scene in Nantcarfan, where the accident to the party 
of Illtyd had actually taken place ; unconscious of the gross anachro- 
nism he committed, he brought Cadoc into association with Illtyd, 
and gave him a hand in the conversion of Illtyd. At a later date, 
when Lifris wrote his Life of S. Cadoc, finding this story in the Vita 
Iltuti, he took it into his composition, unconscious of the fact that it 
was a reduplication of the legend he had already recorded of Cadoc 
and Sawyl Benuchel. 

We may accordingly dismiss Cadoc the Elder as an unhistorical 
personage, who never existed. 

S. CADOC or CATWG, Abbot, Bishop, Martyr 

BUT one tolerably complete Life of S. Cadoc exists, and that was 
written by Lifris, Lifricus, or Leofric, mentioned in the Book of Llan 
Ddv, 1 who was the son of Bishop Herwald (1056-1104), and " Arch- 
deacon of Glamorgan and Master of S. Cadoc of Llancarfan." This 
is by much the most important of all the Lives of the Welsh Saints 
written in Wales. It is a composition of material of various sorts 
heaped together without order. It has two prefaces, then the Life in 
thirty-three chapters ; this is followed by the Passio in three chapters, 
and then by a series of miracles wrought after the death of the Saint. 
Then ensue three genealogies, a constitution of the Society of Llan- 

1 Pp. 271-4. We know from the Life itself (c. 41) that Lifris wrote it. He 
was probably the last abbot of Llancarfan. It is not at all improbable that 
the records forming the cartulary may have been copied out of a book of the 
gospels on the altar at Llancarfan. During his stay with Cadoc at Llancarfan 
Oildas made such a copy, and Caradoc of Llancarfan, in his Life of Gildas, tells 
us that, about 1150, it "still remained in the Church of S. Cadoc, covered all 
over with gold and silver," and that it was used by the Welsh for taking oaths 
upon. (Prof. Hugh Williams, Gildas, p. 407.) According to the Life of 
S. Cadoc (Cambro-British Saints, p. 66) it was copied in Echni. Whether the 
codex Caradoc refers to was the actual work of Gildas is, of course, matter for 

S. Cadoc i 5 

carfan, with a list of its possessions and their appropriation ; a rule 
about making wills ; then it goes back to the story of the conversion 
of Gwynllyw, to introduce his donations, and then ensues a cartulary 
of Llancarfan. 

The Life is in the early thirteenth century MS. Cotton. Vesp. A. xiv, 
and has been printed in the Lives of the Cambro-British Saints, pp. 22- 
96, very inaccurately. ^The errors have been rectified by Professor 
Kuno Meyer, in Y Cymmrodor, vol. xiii (1900), pp. 77-84, and the 
donations have been correctly reprinted by Dr. F. Seebohm, in his 
Tribal System in Wales, 1895, pp. 205-224. 

The Life by Lifris formed the basis for that by John of Tynemouth, 
Cotton. Tiberius E. i (fourteenth century), which is given in Capgrave's 
Nova Legenda Anglice. Another MS. is in Cotton. Titus D. xxii 
(fifteenth century). There existed formerly a Life of S. Cadoc at 
Quimperle in Finistere, but as the thirteenth century writer of the 
Cartulary of Ste. Croix there complains, it had been carried off surrep- 
titiously by a priest, named Judhuarn, who died before he returned 
it, and the book was not recovered. 1 

However, probably the substance of the Life had already been 
taken into the Breviary lections for the Feast of S. Cadoc at Quimperle, 
and although no copy of this Breviary now exists, Albert le Grand 
saw it, and from it, and from the lections in the Vannes Breviary, 
composed his Life of S. Cadoc. The Life in the Ada 55. of the Bol- 
landists is a mere reproduction of that of John of Tynemouth, 
after a transcript made from Capgrave. 

Gwynllyw, King of Gwynllywg, had married Gwladys, daughter, 
or more probably granddaughter, of Brychan, and had carried her 
off vi et armis. Cadoc was their son. Gwynllyw, who was a lawless 
tyrant, had sent his robber bands into Gwent, beyond the Usk, and 
had carried off the cow of an Irish hermit, whose name was Tathan or 
Meuthi. 2 The hermit ventured to the caer of the King to implore 
its restoration. According to the account in the Life of Cadoc he was 
well received and courteously treated ; but according to that in the 
Life of Tathan he was treated with horse-play and insult. 3 However, 
Gwynllyw retained him to baptize the child that was then born to 
him, and it was given the name of Cathmail, which occurs in mediaeval 
Irish as Cathmal, in Welsh Cadfael. Although Cathmail was his 

1 Cartulary of Quimpertt, Paris, 1896, p. 217. 

2 In the Vita S. Tathei, Cambro-British Saints, he is called Tatheus. In that 
of Cadoc he is given as Meuthi ; in the Life by Albert le Grand it is Menechesius. 
Meuthi (Mo-thai) is another form of the same name as Tathan. It has the 
prefix Mo (my) and the other the affix an. 

3 Vita S. Tathei, Cambro-British Saints, p. 260. 

1 6 Lives of the British Saints 

name, he is known as Cadoc or Catwg, in Latin Cadocus. In lit 
manner, Briomaglus is the Brioc of hagiology. In the Quimper 
cartulary it is Catuodus. 

Later on, the boy was entrusted to Tathan or Meuthi, to be educate 
at Caerwent, where he had a college, that had been founded by Yny 
king of that portion of Gwent. " And he, willingly receiving hin 
diligently instructed him in Donatus and Priscian, and other arts fc 
twelve years." 1 

The story is told of Cadoc, as of so many other Celtic saints, th; 
he brought live coals to his master in the lap of his habit ; and th? 
the place where the coals were concealed was well known till the firi 
half of the eleventh century, and then forgotten. In this instanc 
there may be some basis of fact. Cadoc may have discovered a seai 
of coal, not in Gwent, but Morganwg, and this the natives continue 
to use till the irruption of the Normans, when the place was abandone 
and forgotten. How old Cadoc was when he was committed 1 
Tathan or Meuthi we do not know, probably when he was a child < 
six. If so, then he left his master when aged eighteen, and returne 
to his father. 

The Life, as given by Albert le Grand, however, makes him old< 
than that. His story is as follows : Gwynllyw, being about 1 
make war on a neighbouring king, committed the command of h 
men to his son Cathmail. But the young man, feeling no vocatic 
for the military life, ran away, and placed himself under the directio 
of the Irish teacher. We shall probably be right in transferring th 
incident to his return from school at Caerwent. 

Cathmail, having resolved on embracing the ecclesiastical professioi 
deserted his home and the lands of his father, and went into Mo: 
ganwg, to the territory of his uncle, Paul or Pol, of Penychen, wh 
ruled over that district in Morganwg. Here he wandered aboi 
alone in a marshy district, and coming suddenly on a herd ( 
swine belonging to Paul, scared and scattered them. The swinehen 
incensed at this, raised his lance, and would have transfixed him, ha 
not Cathmail told him his name and relationship to his master. 

When Paul learned that his nephew was wandering homeless c 
his territory, he sent for him and offered him some land on which 1 
settle. Cathmail gladly accepted the marshy valley where he ha 
met the swineherd, and his uncle made it over to him. 

In one part of the marsh, where was higher ground, a wild swa 
had nested, and there also an old grey boar had its lair. As Cathma 
was looking about for a suitable spot on which to erect his wattle 

1 Vita S. Cadoci, Cambro-British Saints, p. 27. 

S. Cadoc 1 7 

cell, he disturbed the swan and the boar. The former flew away, but 
the boar retired reluctantly, and turned thrice to observe the man 
who had invaded its retreat. Cathmail put sticks into the ground 
to mark the spots where the boar had halted, and resolved to plant 
his monastery there, and build his church, refectory and dormitory, 
at the points where the beast had turned to watch him. He was soon 
joined by other young men, probably those who had been his fellow 
students, and had no liking for the rowdy career of a man of war, and 
this was the beginning of the famous monastery of Llancarfan. 

" Then the holy man undertook to throw up a large mound of earth, 
and to make therein a very beautiful cemetery, to be dedicated to the 
honour of God ; in which the bodies of the faithful might be buried 
around the temple. The mound being completed, and the cemetery 
finished in it, he made four large paths over rising grounds about his 
cell." 1 The position chosen was probably not that where now stands 
the church of Llancarfan, but a little distance to the south, in a 
field called " The Cumeiy," where there are traces of ancient buildings. 
This spot agrees better with Lifris' description. 

After that his buildings of wood (" monasteriolum ex lignorum 
materie ") were completed, he looked out for another site that would 
serve as a place of refuge in the event of political incursions or civil 
war, and chose a hill-top, now Llanfeithin, and there also he threw 
up a mound that was circular, and on it erected a castle, called 
Castell Cadog ("in illo alium tumulum in modum urbis rotundum de 
limo terrae exagerari, ac in tumulum eregi fecit quod Brittonum 
idiomate Kastil Cadoci nuncupatur"). 

Llanfeithin, this second settlement, is on high ground, whereas 
Llancarfan is in the bottom of the valley, which at that time was all 
morass. It is now included within the parish of Llancarfan, but was 
formerly an extra-parochial district of some 433 acres. Over against 
Llanfeithin, on the further side of the valley, is Garn Llwyd, whither 
Dyfrig was wont to retire, according to local tradition. ' 

The biographer goes on to relate how that Cadoc abandoned his 
monastery and went to Ireland, " after a long space of time." Arrived 
in Ireland, he studied in the school of Lismore under S. Carthagh 
Muchutu, with whom he remained three years. As Carthagh was 
hardly born at this period, and Lismore was not founded till about 
62O, 2 we have here a gross anachronism. The mistake is due, prob- 
ably, to the biographer having confounded the Carthaghs. There 

1 Vita S. Cadoci, Cambro-British Saints, p. 34. 

2 Annals of Inisfallen. Annals of Ulster, 635 (636). Carthagh died in 637. 
Annals of Ulster, 636 (recte 637) ; Annals of Inisfallen and Four Masters, 637. 


I 8 Lives of the British Saints 

were two. The elder of that name was disciple of Ciaran of Saighir, 
whom he succeeded in the abbacy about 490. It is possible enough 
that Cadoc may have gone to this, the elder Carthagh, at Saighir. 

Returning from Ireland, after three years, " with a large company 
of Irish and British clergy," among whom were Finnian, Macmoil and 
Gnavan, instead of going back to Llancarfan, as we might have ex- 
pected, he placed himself under a celebrated rhetorician, Bachan, in 
Brecknock. Bachan " had come from Italy to that country," and 
Cadoc " much desired to be taught Latin by him after the Roman 

Llanspyddid was over against the Brito-Roman town, now Y Gaer, 
and which may have been called by the Romans Bannium. About 
this we shall have more to say in the sequel. At the entrance to the 
church of Llanspyddid lay Anlach, the father of Brychan, and grand- 
father or great-grandfather of Cadoc. 

Finnian, who is represented in the Life as a youth (effebus, c. 9), 
cannot have been young at the time, he was senior to Cadoc ; he did, 
indeed, spend many years studying in Britain, and he did contract a 
friendship with Cadoc, but he was not his pupil. In the Life we are 
informed that Cadoc came from Ireland with " Finian videlicet 
Macmoil, atque Gnavan." At a much later period Cadoc " erected 
a church to Macmoillus his disciple, and protected it with a fence, and 
therein built an altar, that he might lodge there when he went into 
Gwent, or should return ; and he appointed Macmoillus prior therein " 
(c. 55). This is Bedwellty, in Monmouthshire. He also erected, near 
Llancarfan, " a chapel in honour of S. Finian." The biographer, 
apparently, was uncertain whether Finnian and Macmoil were one and 
the same, or different personages. We are disposed to identify 
Macmoil with Cainnech of Aghaboe. (See under S. CAINNECH.) 

Whilst Cadoc studied at Llanspyddid, famine raged in the land, and 
the master and his pupils were put to straits for food. However, 
Cadoc observed a mouse carrying a grain of wheat. He succeeded in 
catching it, and borrowing a thread from a widow, tied it to the foot 
of the little creature and let it run ; whereupon it darted into a hole. 
Cadoc dug on the spot, and discovered an underground chamber stored 
with grain. Such secret granaries were by no means uncommon, and 
are found in many ancient Welsh, Irish and Scottish forts. 1 Or it may 
have been that one of the hypocausts that have been discovered at 
Y Gaer had been used as a storehouse for grain. On this supply the 
master and his pupils were able to live for some time. 

Brychan now gave the land of Llanspyddid to his grandson Cadoc, 

1 Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. iii, Antiq., pp. 59, 75. 

S. Cadoc 1 9 

who appointed his teacher Bachan to be abbot there, and departed. 
It is possible, we cannot say more, that to this period belongs the 
foundation of LJangadog Fawr in Carmarthenshire, also in Brychan 

Llangadog is pleasantly situated between the rivers Bran andSawdde, 
above their junction with the Towy. To the east tower up the 
beautiful Brecknock Beacons, and to the south is the purple ridge of 
the Black Mountains, below which, and parallel with the course of 
the Towy, runs the Trichrug. 

An outcrop from this latter is a rock crowned by a stone fort, the 
Garn Goch, of red rock, commanding the basin of the Towy. On the 
side is Llys Brychan, by its name indicating its connexion with the 
mysterious prince of Brycheiniog, and it is probable that the marvellous 
stone caer on the summit bore this name originally, but has shed it 
for the more descriptive appellation of the Red Cairn. 

It was possibly whilst Cadoc was at Llangadog that he was annoyed 
by Sawyl Benuchel (not to be confounded \vith the brother of Dunawd), 
who had established himself in the pleasant mountain basin of Cynwyl 
Gaio, where a bunch of rock, starting out of the level bottom that was 
once a lake bed, offered a suitable position for a caer, commanding as 
it did the entire basin. It bears the significant name of Pen-y-Ddinas, 
showing that at one time a stronghold occupied its crown, but the 
ruins of prehistoric fortifications have disappeared, as the hill has 
been converted into a rabbit-warren. 

Below it stands Llansawel, leaving us to suspect that this ruffian in 
his old age turned saint and founder ; for this is quite out of the region 
of the activities of his namesake, Sawyl Benuchel, brother of Dunawd. 

The church is supposed to be dedicated to S. Sawyl Felyn ab Bledri 
Hir, and this may have been the chief who worried Cadoc, and later 
turned serious and founded the church. But we are left here to con- 
jecture, based on the fact that Llangadog is within easy reach of 
Pen-y-Ddinas, below which is Llansawel, and that a Sawyl did vex 
Cadoc. A slender foundation for a theory to be taken for what it is 
worth. Pen-y-Ddinas was an eminently suitable situation from which 
a British chief could, at pleasure, harry the neighbourhood, especially 
the obnoxious Irish in Brycheiniog. 

Passing through the gap in the heather-clad hills at Bwlch Cefn 
Serth, along the old Sarn Helen, he would descend the Dulais to its 
junction with the Towy, and, arriving at the monastery of S. Cadoc, 
could harass the saint. One day, he and his party broke in, and 
carried off meat and drink, but did no further damage. Cadoc was 
absent at the moment, but on his return learnt what had been 

2 o Lives of the British Saints 

done, and was further informed that the marauders were at a little 
distance, eating and drinking what they had ravished from his larder 
and cellars. 

After they had gorged themselves with meat and ale, Sawyl and his 
rogues lay down to sleep. Cadoc seized the opportunity to inflict 
on them a stinging insult. He set his monks to shave half the heads 
of the drunken men, and then with the razors to slash off the ears and 
lips of their horses. 

We are informed that Sawyl and his men had retreated to a hill-top 
for their carouse, and if our identification of the localities be accepted, 
this can have been none other than the Garn Goch. When the barbers 
had done their work, Cadoc and fifty of his clerics assumed their 
ecclesiastical vestments, and marched in procession to the hill to meet, 
and, if possible, to mitigate the resentment of the freebooter. 

What happened is veiled in fable. The earth opened and swallowed 
up Sawyl and his men, " and the ditch where they were engulfed is 
known unto this day to all the passers-by." x That nothing of the 
sort took place we may be pretty sure. What probably occurred 
was that the settlers in the neighbourhood assembled and assumed a 
threatening attitude, and the bully was fain to decamp. 

Under Garn Goch is Llys Brychan, as already said, so that it is 
probable that Brychan had a residence there. 

After this, Cadoc sang Te Deum, and blessed the men who had 
made his adversaries ridiculous, and had so barbarously mutilated 
the dumb beasts. 

" Blessed are ye in the Lord ; and this prerogative be to the twelve 
barbers, figuring the Twelve Apostles, and to all those who hold your 
succession in the town, to all your posterity. If judgment and useful 
counsel be wanting in all the coasts, let it be found among you. If 
twelve appointed wise men be lacking, let the counsel of twelve irre- 
gular clergy be had ; if twelve clerics should not be present, then 
commit judgment and counsel to twelve young innocent boys." z 
This benediction has a very early ring about it, far earlier than the 
eleventh century, when the Life of Cadoc was written ; and the muti- 
lation of the men and beasts is truly Celtic in character. 3 

We cannot be at all certain that this incident took place at the 
time and place suggested, but it would seem not improbable that the 
foundation of Cadoc in Llangadog Fawr should occur before leaving 
the Brychan territory, before his return to Gwent. Possibly owing to 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 42-3. 

2 Ibid., p. 43. 

3 So in the Mabinogi of Branwen. 

S. Cadoc 2 i 

the annoyance caused by proximity to Sawyl, Cadoc quitted this part 
of the country and returned to his original settlement at Llancarfan, 
which he found wholly ruinous, and without inhabitants. " He 
beheld his principal monastery destroyed, and the rafters of the roofs 
and the rubbish of the building scattered over the cemetery ; and 
grieving at the ruin, he earnestly desired to rebuild it " (c. 9). He 
ordered all his monks, clerics and workmen to go to the woods and cut 
timber for the structure, excepting only the two youths, Finnian and 
Macmoil, who were to go on with their lessons. As already pointed 
out, Finnian was considerably older than Cadoc. 

The steward, cook and sexton, seeing that these Irish students were 
not helping in the necessary work, rated them as idlers, and ordered 
them to fetch timber. Somewhat abashed, they obeyed and yoked 
two stags to a beam to draw it to the monastery. When Cadoc saw 
that they were working and not reading, he asked the reason. They 
told him the circumstances, and he cursed the cook, sexton and steward 
that they should die the worst of deaths by sword or famine. 

Cadoc erected an oratory to Finnian over a spot where he had left 
his book exposed to a shower, which had not, however, materially 
injured it. One cannot but suspect that the biographer has wholly 
mistaken the age of Finnian, and has inserted this hackneyed miracle to 
account for the existence in his time of a Finnian chapel, erected by 
Cadoc in honour of his friend, who was so much older than himself, and 
who became so illustrious as a master of saints in Ireland. 

About this time Gwynllyw, the father of Cadoc, fell sick and died. 
The old king had given a good deal of trouble in his time, but had 
been converted and brought to lead an eremitical life by the instru- 
mentality of his son. When he felt himself dying, he sent for Cadoc 
and the bishop Dyfrig. " And they came to the sick person, and gave 
him penance, exhorting and comforting him with salutary doctrine. 
After this, the bishop pronounced absolution and apostolical bene- 
diction." 1 

About this time Gildas passed through Penychen, and visited Cadoc. 
He had with him a bell, to which Cadoc took a fancy, and which he 
offered to buy; but Gildas refused to part with it, as he purposed 
presenting it to the altar of S. Peter at Rome. 

Some years after, however, Gildas gave the bell to Cadoc, alleging 
that the Bishop of Rome had declined to receive it when he heard 
that such an illustrious man had expressed a desire to possess it ; and 
Cadoc believed the flattering story. 2 

1 Vita S. Gundleii, Cambro-British Saints, p. 150. 

2 Ibid., pp. 59-60 ; Vita II Gildae, ed. Williams, p. 404. In the Vita S. 
Cadoci the Pope is called Alexander. There was no such Pope at the time. 

2 2 Lives of the British Saints 

From a comparison of the Lives of Gildas and Cadoc it would 
appear that the former visited Llancarf an in 528. Cadoc seized on the 
occasion to ask Gildas to take charge of his monastery for him whilst 
he himself went into Alba. To this Gildas consented. 1 

There is a discrepancy between the accounts in the Life of Gildas 
and that of Cadoc. In the former it is said that Gildas undertook the 
charge of Llancarf an for one year only. In the Vita S. Cadoci, Cadoc is 
represented as being absent in Alba for seven years. But as Gildas 
spent only seven years in all at this period in Britain, and during that 
time he was much associated with Cadoc in retirement in the Holmes, 
in the Severn Sea, we must take the shorter time as that during which 
Cadoc was in Alba. 

Before Cadoc left for the north Gildas and David had fallen out. 
Each wanted to be head of the ecclesiastics in Dyfed. In fact, Gildas 
was making a strenuous effort to turn David out, and occupy his place. 
As much heat and angry feeling was provoked, Cadoc was called in to 
decide between them. This was a delicate matter, and as the Abbot 
of Llancarfan little relished the prospect of displeasing either of the 
rivals, he passed on the thankless office to S. Finnian, afterwards of 
Clonard, his friend and companion, and Finnian gave his judgment in 
favour of David. 2 Cadoc now departed for Alba and built a monastery 
of stone " near the mountain Bannauc." 

Bishop Forbes says : " Cambuslang is dedicated to S. Cadoc, and 
through the adjoining parish of Carmunnock runs a range of hills, 
called the Cathkin Hills, which separates Strathclyde from Ayrshire, 
and terminates in Renfrewshire (Strathgryf). This must be the ' moun- 
tain Bannauc ' ; and the name is preserved in Carmunnock." 3 

This Caer Bannauc is probably the Caer Banhed of the Life of S. 
Paul of Leon. A certain Marc Conomanus was king there, and he 
and Paulus Aurelianus had fallen out over a trifle, and the huffed 
saint had departed, and crossed into Brittany, as nearly as can be 
calculated, in 526. Now Paul was a native of Penychen, and almost 
certainly was acquainted with Cadoc. On quitting the territory of 
King Marc, he would go home to Penychen, where Cadoc would learn 
from him that the king of Strathclyde actually desired to have a 
religious foundation in his realm, and had urged Paul to take on him 
the ecclesiastical oversight of his people. 4 Paul in a fit of spleen had 

1 Vita II Gildae, pp. 404-5. 

2 Life of S. Finnian, Book of Lismore, pp. 222-3. 

Skene Four Ancient Books of Wales, i, pp. 173-4; Forbes, Kalendars of 
Scottish Saints, Edinburgh, 1872, p. 293. 
4 Vita S. Pauli Aureliani, c. 8. 

S. Cadoc 2 3 

left. Cadoc thought he saw his occasion, and having provided for 
his monastery at Llancarfan being ruled during his absence, went to 
the realm of Marc Conomanus, and took up the threads dropped by 
Paul and established there a monastic house. 

A curious story attaches to the founding of this monastery in Scot- 
land. Whilst digging the foundations, Cadoc came on some huge 
bones, and prayed that it might be revealed to him whose they were. 
In the night, a gigantic man appeared and told him that they belonged 
to his earthly remains, and that he was Caw, surnamed Prydyn, or 
Cawr (a giant) ; that he had been a king beyond the mountain range, 
i.e. in Strathclyde, but had fallen there in battle. 1 

What seems to be the explanation of this story is that at the request 
of Gildas, Cadoc sought out the burial mound of his father, Caw of 
Cwm Cawlwyd, who had been engaged in conflict with the Gwyddyl 
Ffichti, or Irish Goidels, and had lost his territory to them. Then as a 
token of friendly feeling to Gildas, Cadoc erected his monastery over the 
tomb of the father of that saint. The similarity of the name Caw 
with Cawr furnished the legend-maker with the idea that he was a 

According to the Vita S. Cadoci, Cadoc made a pilgrimage to S. 
Andrew's. As it happens, S. Andrew's was not founded till 741, 
about two hundred years later. 

On the return of Cadoc to Llancarfan, he resumed the rule over his 
abbey, and Gildas retired to Glastonbury ; but the friends were wont 
during Lent to retreat to the Steep and Flat Holmes in the estuary of 
the Severn, for prayer and meditation, broken only by visits to one 

About the year 534, according to our computation, Gildas went 
back to his monastic settlement at Ruys in Armorica. It is possible 
that it was now, at his persuasion, that Cadoc also went thither " with 
a few of his monks." 2 Lifris says that he went there after the death 
of his father GwynUyw. But on the whole we are disposed to think 
that Cadoc 's visit to Armorica took place at the time of the great 
flight of clerics from South Wales on the breaking out of the Yellow 
Plague (547). But what Cadoc did, perhaps, undertake about this 
time was a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and to Rome. 

His monastery at Llancarfan had now grown to one of great import- 
ance and wealth. The legend represents his power there as princely. 
" He daily fed a hundred clergy, and a hundred soldiers, and a hundred 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 56-8. 

" Ayant choisi un petit nombre de ses religieux." Albert le Grand, from 
the old lectionaries of Quimperle and Vannes. 

24 Lives of the British Saints 

workmen, and a hundred poor men, with the same number of widows. 
This was the number of his household, besides servants in attendance, 
and esquires, and guests, whose number was uncertain, and a multitude 
of whom used to visit him frequently. Nor is it strange that he was 
a rich man and supported many, for he was abbot and prince (abbas 
enim et princeps) over the territory (Gwynllywg) of his father from 
Ffynnon Hen, that is, the Old Well, as far as the mouth of the river 
Rumney, and he possessed the whole territory from the river Golych 
as far as the river Dawon, from Pentyrch right on to the valley of 
Nantcarfan, and from that valley to the river Gurimi, that is, the 
Lesser Rumney, towards the sea." 1 

At this point it may be well to pause for a moment over the con- 
version of Illtyd by Cadoc. The story is told in both the Vita 5. 
Cadoci, and also in the Vita S. Iltuti. 

Illtyd, a soldier in the service of Paul, king of Penychen, and uncle 
of Cadoc, went out with fifty men under him to hawk and hunt, and 
they imperiously demanded food of Cadoc. As Cadoc had received 
all his land round Llancarfan from Paul Penychen, one would have 
supposed that he would cheerfully have supplied these hungry hunters 
with a lunch. However, he only grudgingly complied with their 
demands, and the wrath of God fell on them, the earth opened and 
swallowed them all alive, with the exception of Illtyd, who was there- 
upon converted, and placed himself under instruction by Cadoc. 2 

It may be observed that here we have a worn and washed out copy 
of the incident already recorded, which we suppose occurred at Llan- 
gadog Fawr. In one the prince is Sawyl, in the other, Paul. The 
soldiers of both rudely demand meat, and in both are punished by 
being swallowed up in the ground. 

As we have already pointed out, the conversion of Illtyd by Cadoc 
of Llancarfan is chronologically impossible. The authors of the two 
legends no doubt did know that Illtyd had been converted while 
hunting in the morass in which somewhat later rose the famous 
monastery of S. Cadoc. The legend writers, to make the change in 
the life of Illtyd sensational and miraculous, adapted to it the tale 
of Cadoc's affair with Sawyl Benuchel. 

Whether, whilst Cadoc was abroad, on his way to, or return from, 
Rome, he visited Gildas at Ruys can be only matter of conjecture. 
He may have done so, and have taken a fancy to the peculiar 
situation of that monastery, and have learned from Gildas that 
there was a site somewhat similar to the north of the Morbihan, a 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 45. 

2 Vita S. Iltuti, Cambro-British Saints, c. 3 ; Vita S. Cadoci, ibid., c. 16. 

S. Cadoc 2 5 

lagoon of inferior dimensions, called the Sea of Belz. The entrance 
to it is by the Passage of Etel, and this is obstructed by a sandbank. 
The inland sea of Belz receives only insignificant streams, and is 
studded with islands. The country round at the time was heath and 
gorse moor, strewn with countless monuments of a prehistoric and 
forgotten people. The two friends may have looked at the place 
together ; and Gildas may have exhorted Cadoc to settle there ; but 
the latter returned to Britain from his pilgrimage without effecting 
anything at this time, if our supposition be right. 

The Breton Life says that whilst on his pilgrimage, Cadoc met in 
Aquitania with S. Gonard and S. Lilian. Who these may have been 
is hard to determine. Gonard cannot be identified, for he is certainly 
not Gohard, Bishop of Nantes, 835-843. No saint of the name of 
Lilian is known, but we may suspect that he met Llibio, the disciple 
of S. Cybi and S. Enda. 

On the return of Cadoc to Britain, he learned that during his absence 
the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi had been held. 1 This had assembled, 
not as Rhygyfarch pretends to condemn the last remains of the Pelagian 
heresy, but to pass penitential canons. The date of the synod cannot 
be fixed with any certainty. The Synod of Victory met, according to 
the Annales Cambriae in 569, and it has been supposed that the Council 
of Llanddewi Brefi took place shortly before. But the words of 
Rhygyfarch are : " Deinde succedente temporum serie alia colligitur 
synodus, cui nomen Victoriae." 2 This implies a lapse of some time 
between the two gatherings. 

We are disposed to hold that the Council of Llanddewi was held 
before the outbreak of the Yellow Plague, perhaps in 545 or 546. 
Finnian of Clonard died in 552, and, as we shall see, he was with Cadoc 
on his return after the holding of the synod. 

When Cadoc arrived at Llancarfan, the monks were afraid to tell 
him of the assembly, and deputed Finnian to do so. Cadoc was 
furious at such a meeting having been held without his being consulted 
and invited to be present. And his resentment was specially directed 
against David, for the leading part he had taken in it. In his wrath 
he proceeded to " fast against " David ; 3 he was only induced to 

1 " Cadocus quidem peregrinatus est, David vero post ejus discessionem 
magnam Sinodum in civitatem Brevi congregavit. " Vita S. Cadoci, c. 10. 
According to the Life of S. David, it was not David who convoked the Synod. 
He would not even attend it, till compelled to do so. Cambro-British Saints, 
pp. 137-8. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 139. 

" Quae res non minimum ei displicuit, nimioque furore contra Sanctum 
David pro tali dedecore succensus, diem cum nocte jejunio continuavit." 
Ibid., p. 44. 

2 6 Lives of the British Saints 

desist when it was shown him, probably by Finnian, though the 
legend says it was by an angel, that his conduct was contrary to 
the principles of Christian charity. 

In 547 broke out the Yellow Plague, and a panic fell on clerics and 
laity alike in Demetia. All who could fled across the sea to Armorica. 
In the Life of S. Teilo this is admitted, but neither the Life of S. Cadoc 
nor that of S. David mentions that these saints were infected by the 
panic and fled. But it is quite possible that they did so, and that it 
is due to their presence in Armorica at this period that we have there 
so many foundations made by them. 

The Breton Life says that Cadoc started for Armorica only two 
years after he had become Abbot of Llancarfan, an inadmissible 
statement, but it probably was two years after his return from his 
pilgrimage to Rome. 


Cadoc now, maybe, recalled the land-locked sea of Belz, and crossing 
over with a body of his monks, went thither, and fixed on an islet at 
an inconsiderable distance from the mainland, and on that he planted 
himself with those of his community who had accompanied him. 

Here now stands his chapel, with early rudely sculptured capitals 
to the pillars. In the south transept is the " Lit de S. Cadou," a 
structure of granite blocks, with a recess in it, into which the. peasants 
thrust their heads, and profess to hear there mysterious whisperings 
actually the reverberation of the surf over the bar. At the west 
end of the chapel is a dilapidated flamboyant screen. In the nave 
are four large paintings of the seventeenth century, representing the 
legend, so far as it pertains to the isle. They bear the following 
inscriptions : 

I. Anglais de nation, prince de Clamorgant, 
Puis abbe, vient, debarque, et reside ceans. 

S. Cadoc 

2. Les jugements de Dieu sans cesse meditant 
C'est ainsi, pelerins, qu'il a vecu, ceans. 

3. Aux pirates pervers en ce lieu 1'assaillant, 
II dit : Je suis sans bien, solitaire ceans. 

4. Oratoire, mon oeuvre, adieu ! dit il pleurant, 
Belz, t'oublierai-je ? Non. II cingla de ceans. 

His statue in the chapel represents him as still young, with mitre and 
pastoral staff. The right hand is extended, and is kept continually 
supplied with bunches of flowers by the children of the little fishing 
hamlet on the mainland. 


The connexion with the island is a causeway of massive blocks of 
granite brought from the neighbouring moors. This is attributed to 
S. Cadoc. " He erected an elegant church with stones ; and afterwards 
caused to be built by masons a stone bridge skilfully constructed with 
arched work and having its arches cemented with mortar." x Such 
is the description given by Lifris. Actually, there are no arches, and 
the blocks of stone were never laid in mortar. In fact, no lime was 
to be had, unless from the pounded shells on the shore. 

The biographer admits that not long after, the whole collapsed, but 
was miraculously restored. 2 Lifris says that the island was a third 
of a league from the mainland, and this, consequently, would be the 
length of the bridge, i.e. one mile long. Actually it is 306 feet long 
by twelve feet wide, and is built in a curve. 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 68. 

2 8 Lives of the British Saints 

De la Villemarque gives a ballad in his Barzas-Breis relative to a 
dispute that took place between Gildas and Cadoc, and of which we 
may suppose the scene was on this bridge, if any reliance whatever 
can be placed on the tradition. But everything produced by this 
author is open to suspicion, as he was a wholesale fabricator of legends 
and ballads. 1 It is to this effect : 

Cadoc had been brought up on Donatusby his master Tathan or 
Meuthi, and Donatus had written a life of Virgil which doubtless the 
boy had read, and then had gone on to the poems of the Mantuan. 

Cadoc loved his Virgil, and could not endure the thought that the 
poet should be in hell. He took the occasion of a visit from Gildas to 
discuss the question. Gildas characteristically adopted the harsher 
view. Then Cadoc opened the volume to show to his grim com- 
panion the wondrous prophecy of the coming of Christ (iv Eclogue). 
Suddenly a rush of wind caught the volume and carried it into the sea. 
On returning to his cell he said : " I will neither eat nor drink till I 
know whether Virgil has been saved or not." And he laid himself 
to rest on his stone bed. During the stillness of the night he heard a 
voice from afar saying : " Pray for me ! Pray for me, that I may 
sing the loving-kindness of the Lord ! " Then, convinced that this 
was the voice of his loved poet, he rose and spent the night in prayer 
for him. Next day, the lost volume was marvellously restored. A 
few strips of iron cover some scorings on the causeway, called the 
" Slip of S. Cadou." Here he is said to have slipped, either in attempt- 
ing to recover his Virgil, or in pursuit of the Devil. 

The Pardon is held at the lie de S. Cadou on the Sunday before, and 
that after, September 21, when the women in their scarlet petticoats and 
the banners and crosses moving among the rocks and over the cause- 
way, then grouping about the Calvary, form a most pleasing scene. 

According to Albert le Grand, Cadoc remained here for three years, 
but le Grand is always very precise in his dates, drawn not from his 
authorities but from his own fancy. However, he is probably about 
right in this instance, for the Yellow Plague lasted three years. Cadoc 
desired only to found a daughter house in Armorica. That done, he 
placed over it a disciple named Cadwaladr, and then returned to 

1 De la Villemarque obtained a collection of Breton ballads from the Abb6 
Martin of Quimperle, and did not acknowledge his indebtedness. The rest, 
in Barzas-Breis, published in 1839, are mainly forgeries. This collection, when 
it appeared, took the French public by storm, and it was crowned by the 
Academic. What genuine ballads Villemarque did obtain he or Martin tinkered 
up, and gave to them poetical touches not in the original. Villemarque gives 
the story in prose in his absurd book La Legende Critique, Paris. 1861, pp. 201-4. 
Si non vero e ben trovato. 

S. Cadoc 29 

Lifris puts the visit to Armorica and this foundation very late, at 
the close of his life, but it probably took place earlier. 

It was on his way thither that he was in Cornwall, and miraculously 
called forth a spring. On his \vay back he revisited the spring and 
greatly increased the volume of water from it, and improved its quality 
by pouring into it some water of the Jordan that he had acquired 
brought, so it is said, from the Holy Land. 1 The spot is near S. 
Minver, and the ruins of S. Cadoc's chapel remain ; the spring flows 

Lifris gives us an account of altercations between Cadoc and King 
Arthur, Maelgwn, and Rhun, son of Maelgwn, and with Rhain, son of 

A man of the name of Ligessauc (Llyngesog) Lawhir, son of Eliman, 
had killed three soldiers of Arthur, and then fled for refuge to Cadoc, 
who kept him in sanctuary for seven years, and Arthur only acciden- 
tally found out where the man was, and reclaimed him. It was an 
unprecedented thing for sanctuary to have been granted for so long ; 
properly, the saint or chief who gave sanctuary was bound at 
once to compound for the crime, and not keep the criminal in conceal- 

Arthur was exceedingJy angry at what he regarded as a dishonourable 
act, and he marched to the banks of the Usk and demanded that the 
case should be gone into formally. Cadoc at once got SS. David, Teilo 
and Dochu or Oudoceus, to act for him, and to them he joined Cynidr 
and Maidoc or Aidan, and the discussion was conducted across the 
muddy river, in shouts. At last it was settled by the judges that 
Arthur should receive three good oxen for each of his men who had 
been slain. Arthur consented, with the proviso that they should be 
cattle partly red and partly white. When the nine cattle had been 
got together, the next difficulty was, how they were to be delivered 
over ; this had to be argued, and the judges decided that Cadoc's men 
should drive them to the middle of the ford over the Usk, when 
Arthur's men w T ould receive them. Thus peace was made, and Arthur 
then granted, or the compiler of the Cartulary pretended that he had 
granted, to Cadoc thenceforth the extraordinary privilege of sanctuary 
for seven years, seven months, and as many days. 2 The story is 
probably an invention to establish this claim. 

In the quarrel with Maelgwn Cadoc was not to blame. Maelgwn had 
sent his receivers of tribute into Gwynllywg, and, finding that Cadoc's 
steward had a pretty daughter, they carried her off. Thereupon the 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 64-7. 
a Ibid., pp. 48-50. 

3 o Lives of the British Saints 

men of the neighbourhood assembled, pursued the ravishers, killed 
some and wounded others, and recovered the girl. Maelgwn was 
furious, and marched to the frontiers of Gwynllywg to lay it waste 
with fire and sword. The inhabitants in alarm sent word to Cadoc, 
who at once went to Maelgwn and represented to him the matter in its 
true light, and succeeded in pacifying him. 1 

During the life of Maelgwn, that prince took care not to offend 
Cadoc, and he laid strict injunctions on his son Rhun, when he was 
pillaging in South Wales, not to meddle with the possessions of the 
Abbot of Llancarfan. 

However, one day when Rhun was on a plundering foray, and was 
in his tent playing dice with some eunuchs, some of his men went to 
a dairy on the possessions of Cadoc, and being thirsty asked for milk. 
The dairyman refused, and the men, highly incensed, set fire to the 
barn. The wind carried the smoke to where Rhun was, and he inquired 
what was burning. When told, he sent for Cadoc and apologized for 
what had been done, assured him it was against his express orders, and 
to make compensation gave him his sword, shield and spear. 2 

Rhain, son of Brychan, king of Brycheiniog, " plundered and 
laid waste " the province of Gwynllywg to the sea. Thereupon 
the men of Gwynllywg rose in a body, pursued the marauder 
and defeated him in one battle after another and captured him, but 
dared not put him to death, because he was of the kin of Cadoc, whose 
mother was Gwladys, sister of this ruffian. Cadoc, hearing of the 
straits Rhain was in, went to him, and obtained his liberation. 

Apparently at this time there was no king in Gwynllywg, and 
Cadoc set up Meurig, " son of Enhinti " there is probably some 
mistake of a scribe in the name of the father. Meurig, son of Ithel, 
belonged to the end of the eighth century. Cadoc having set up this 
Meurig, " gave him his aunt in marriage," 3 and Meurig confirmed 
to Cadoc the privileges granted by Arthur and Maelgwn. The wit- 
nesses were S. David, S. Cynidr, S. Teilo, S. Illtyd, S. Maidoc and one 

Cadoc, as already said, was wont to spend times of retreat on one 
of the Holmes in the Severn. He did this in Lent. Returning thence 
by boat one day with two disciples, Barruc and Gualehes, as they 
disembarked, Cadoc asked for a book, his Enchiridion, and the two 
monks confessed that they had forgotten it and left it in Echni. Cadoc 
sent them back for it. On their return to the mainland the boat was 
upset, and both were drowned. The author of the Vita says that 
Cadoc cursed them as he despatched them for the book : " Go, and 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 50-2. 2 Ibid., pp. 52-5. 3 Ibid., pp. 55-6. 

S. Cadoc 3 i 

may you never return ! " But he wanted the book, and therefore 
could not have desired that the young men should be lost in bringing 
it to him. 1 

The islands became unsafe, owing to the pirates who infested the 
estuary of the Severn making of them landing-places, and Cadoc was 
obliged to look out for some other place of retreat. He found one on 
the banks of the river Neath, where, " on a certain day, he saw a white 
boar lying under a tree, which his companions killed ; secondly, bees 
entering a hollow tree ; and thirdly, a hawk's nest on top of the tree." 
He sent these gifts to King Arthmail, who thereupon made a grant of 
the spot to Cadoc. 2 Who this Arthmail was is as doubtful as is the 
Meurig already mentioned. There was an Arthmail, uncle of Morcant 
Hen, who died in 935, and, suspiciously enough, he had a brother, 
Mouric, and both he, Arthmail, and Yuein, father of Morcant, were 
sons of Hiuel, king of Glywysing, who was son of Ris, brother of 
Fern vail, who died in 775. There can be little doubt that Lifris has 
fallen into anachronisms. These princes may have made grants to the 
monastery of S. Cadoc, and he has thrust them back to be contem- 
poraries of the saint, and has invented stories to account for their 
making the grants. 

Probably in his old age Cadoc went to Ireland. King Ainmire 
summoned Gildas to assist in the reviving of religion in Ireland, and 
it is very probable that he extended his invitation to Cadoc, as that 
saint is considered, along with Gildas and David, as having given to 
Ireland forms of the Mass. 3 This must have been at the same time 
that Ainmire summoned Gildas, in or near 564. He probably did not 
remain there very long. He was granted lands on the banks of the 
Liffey, which were enlarged later in compensation for violence done 
to the steward of Cadoc. 4 The monks of Clonard always remained 
on good terms with those who were under the rule of Cadoc. 

The saint was now advanced in years, and on his return to Llan- 
carfan found the management of so large an establishment beyond 

1 Cambro -British Saints, pp. 63-4. 

2 Ibid., p. 67. We are justified in rejecting this settlement of Cadoc on the 
Neath. If the land at Cadoxton-juxta-Neath were granted by Arthmail, it 
was so to Llancarfan long after Cadoc was dead. No incident in his life is 
attached to any residence on the Neath. For the legend compare the similar 
one under S. Baglan ab Ithel Hael. 

3 De Tribus Ordinibus Sanctorum Hiberniae. Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, 
etc., ii, pt. 2, p. 293. 

* " Sanctus partem agri cujusdam apud Hiberniam super ripam fluminis 
Liphi possidet." Cambro-British Saints, p. 78, where the reading Limphi is 
incorrect. Ibid., p. 79, where the reading should be " qui apud Clunerert 
(Clonard)," and not " qui clunererunt." 

3 2 Lives of the British Saints 

his powers. He therefore resolved on quitting it. He had a favourite 
disciple called Elli, and he purposed surrendering the rule into his 
younger hands. On Palm Sunday it was his wont to stand on a 
mound and preach to the people until the hour of tierce, when he 
entered the church to sing Mass. On this day, when the sermon was 
concluded, he publicly announced his intention, and nominated Elli 
to be his successor. He left with the brethren of Llancarfan a Book of 
the Gospels that had been transcribed by Gildas, and appointed 
that all trials and settlements of disputes should take place under a 
hazel tree that he had planted. After that he departed, disappearing 
in a cloud that conveyed him to Beneventum ; where, according to 
his instructions, Elli was to visit him annually and report on the 
condition of affairs at Llancarfan. 1 

When he arrived at his destination, he was elected abbot over the 
large community of monks there, which had just lost its superior. He 
found that the walls were ruinous. They had been constructed not of 
stone, but of clay, and were full of gaps. By Cadoc's advice the 
inhabitants repaired the defences with stone. 2 

Not long after he was raised to the episcopate, but did not rule for 
long. A hostile force attacked the place, broke in, plundering and 
slaughtering ; and a soldier, entering the church, transfixed Cadoc 
with a spear, as he was celebrating the Holy Mysteries. 

For a while the body of the murdered bishop remained at Bene- 
ventum, and a church was erected over it ; but a taboo was placed on 
all Britons, who were not suffered to enter the town. 3 Eventually, 
however, this was relaxed, and the monks of Llancarfan were allowed 
to carry off the body. But even at Llancarfan it was not safe. A 
certain Eilaf, heading a marauding band, drove the monks from their 
monastery, and as they fled with the founder's body, an irreverent 
pagan struck the shrine with his staff ; whereupon, from within, Cadoc 
" roared like a bull." 4 

The whole account of the migration of Cadoc to Beneventum, and 
his death there, is difficult to understand and explain. His being 
caught away in a cloud and transferred to his final destination prob- 
ably means no more than that he departed by boat, in a dense 
white mist, such as clings to the lowlands of the Bristol Channel at 
certain periods of the year. 

" Qualiter Sanctus Ellinus beatum Cadocum annuatim visere consuevit," 
is the heading of chap. 35. Cambro-British Saints, p. 73. 

2 " Magnam partem ejusdem urbis muro vallavit, quam antea limo terrae 
erecta materia minutatim ruinis crebrescentibus in ruderis defecerat." Ibid., p. 73. 

3 " Edificaverunt basilicam super ipsius venerabile sepulchrum, in quo nullus. 
Brittannus intrare permittitur." Ibid., p. 76. * Ibid., p. 77. 

Cadoc 3 3 

Lifris, who wrote this history, doubtless had before him a Welsh 
legend. In that he read how that the saint on his departure was lost 
to the sight of his disciples in a fog. Out of this he built up his fabulous 
account, so as to make his hero disappear like the Divine Master in 
a white cloud, and be transported miraculously to the place whither 
he was bound, as the Spirit carried off S. Philip to Azotus. 

But, where was Beneventum, where he took up his residence ? That 
it was Beneventum in Southern Italy is improbable. It would not 
have been unlikely that a Welsh or Irish monk should have gone to 
Italy, but we should hardly suppose that Cadoc, overcome with age, 
would have gone so far south of Rome. Besides, the church of Bene- 
ventum has preserved no record of Cadoc as having been a Bishop or 
Martyr there in the sixth century. Moreover, Cadoc could not expect 
there to receive an annual report brought him by Elli. And further, 
at the Beneventum of the legend the town was defended by earth- 
works, and not as a Roman city with stone walls. Further, also, the 
language spoken at his place of retreat was the same as that employed 
by Cadoc at Llancarfan. 1 

Dom Plaine laboured in an article on S. Cadoc to show that he had 
been bishop and martyr at Beneventum, 2 but probably his arguments 
would convince nobody. The above reasons against the identification 
seem conclusive. 

Another suggestion is that the place was Benevenna, or Weedon in 
Northamptonshire. We know, unfortunately, little or nothing of the 
encroachments of the Angles on Mid-England. " Not a single record 
has been left us," says Mr. Green, " of the progress of the peoples 
when we find them settled at the close of the (sixth) century in the 
districts of our Nottingham, our Leicester, and our Northampton, or 
on the head waters of the Trent. . . . There was little, indeed, at 
this time to draw invaders to Central Britain. At the close of the 
Roman occupation, the basin of the Trent remained the wildest and 
least frequented part of the island." 3 

In favour of this identification is only the fact that the name of 
the place is similar. Several reasons concur against it. Among others, 
the fact is that no Welsh saints, as far as we know, were drawn 
towards Mid-England, which was, as Mr. Green says, almost a 
wilderness at the time. 

1 " Linguam illorum . . . continue integerrime novit, ipsique similiter 
suam." Cambro-British Saints, p. 72. 

2 Bulletin de la Soc. Arch, de Finistere, xxvii (1900), pp. 106-32. The known 
Bishops of Beneventum in the sixth century towards its close were : 543, Zeno, 
or Zosimus ; 585, Felix; 591, Linianus. 

3 The Making of England, 1897, i. P- 84. 


3 4 Lives of the British Saints 

In the Breviary of Vannes for 1660 the lection for S. Cadoc's day 
stands thus : " In Armorica vero diu commoratus, in quadam Vene- 
tensis insula ecclesiam extruxit. . . . Dein locum ilium e celo monitus 
deseruit, et in Italiam (Britanniam) porrexit. Paulo post morum 
integritate, et vitae sanctitate omnibus notus Beneventi (Benaven) 
episcopuseffectusest." Here, at the revision of the earlier Breviary, 
the reviser hesitatingly suggests Benaven, or more correctly Ban- 
nauenta, the birthplace of S. Patrick, which Professor Bury thinks 
" should be sought near the Severn or the Bristol Channel." L 

Again, there was in the sixth century a British colony in Spanish 
Galicia. This conies first into notice in 569, when it is found to have 
had a bishop. In- that year, at the Council of Lugo, it is referred to, 
" Ad sedem Britoniorum (pertinent) ecclesiae quae sunt intra Britones, 
una cum monasterio Maximi, et quae in Asturiis sunt." 

At the Council of Braga, in 572, the last of the signatures of the 
Suffragans of Braga, " Item ex Synodo Lucensi," is Mailoc " Britonen- 
sis Ecclesiae episcopus." 

This British church continued to exist till 830, when a royal decree 
merged the see of Bretona in that of Oviedo. 2 

Now there is a Benavente at the confluence of the Esla, Ceia and 
Tuerto, in Leon, but not far from Galicia. We know little of the 
history of this portion of Spain in the sixth century. No tradition 
of a S. Cadoc, Bishop and Martyr, there has survived. Moreover, 
there are other difficulties in the way of accepting this Benavente as 
the place to which Cadoc retired. This also is too remote from 
Morgan wg for Elli to have visited it annually. " Elli," we are 
informed, " was accustomed to go very often with his disciples to the 
city of Beneventum," 3 and as many as eight of the Llancarfan 
monks were buried there. 4 

Again, another suggestion was offered by De Kerdanet in his edition 
of Albert le Grand's Vies des Saints de Bretagne. He says : " On a 
confondu Benevent en Italic avec Kaer-Gwent ; ancienne ville 
episcopal de Monmouth." 5 

1 Life of S. Patrick, 1905, pref. p. x, text p, 17. There are several places in 
Breconshire and Glamorganshire called Banwen, which might represent the name. 
None of them, however, appear to have had any early ecclesiastical associations. 

2 Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., ii, pt. i, pp. 97-101. 

s " Consuevit autem Ellinus alioquotiens usque ad Beneventum civitatem, 
gratia visitandi beatum Cadocum . . . proficisci cum quibusdam discipulis 
ipsius." Cambro-British Saints, p. 73. 

4 " In monasterio Sancti Sophie honorifice sepulti sunt ; quorum nempe 
sepulchra in una serie ordinatim ante altare a pariete in parietem componuntur. 
Octo quidem . . . illorum marmorea busta inibi habentur." Ibid., ad loc. 

5 Ed. 1837, p. 667, note 3. 

S. Cadoc 3 5 

In favour of this may be remarked that this portion of Gwent 
between the Severn and the Wye might very well have borne the name 
of Pen-Gwent ; but there is no evidence that it was so called ; nor is 
it likely that the city of Caerwent would have borne the name of the 
district. And the reasons against such an identification are weighty. 
Caerwent was only some thirty miles from Llancarfan, and Lifris, who 
wrote the Life of S. Cadoc, would hardly have failed to state the fact, 
had Cadoc suffered martyrdom there. No tradition connecting Cadoc 
with Caerwent remains. The Vannes Breviary of 1660 says : " in una 
barbarorum Saxonum irruptione trucidatus." This might apply to 
any place invaded by the Saxons after they poured across the Cotswold 

in 577- 

The name Beneventum is a latinization of a British name. " Ban " 
is a hill or mountain, and it enters into many names, as Ben- 
aven Tabernae, Benevenna, Beneharnum, Benni, Benacus, Bannauc. 
Welsh Bicknor, on the Wye, was formerly known as Lann Custenhin 
Garth Benni. 

The " ventum " of Beneventum we have in Gwent ; such a term by 
no means applied only to Monmouthshire. It signified any open 
champagne land lying above the forests that spread through the river 
valleys ; and it was applied as well to the chalk downs of the South of 
England. We meet with it in Venta Icenorum (Caister) and in 
Venta Belgarum (Winchester). Beneventum is, accordingly, the 
Gwentian "Ban" or hill. 

Now, if we put ourselves in the place of Cadoc in his old age, it seems 
likely that he may have craved to be away from the large establishment 
at Llancarfan, and to revisit and end his days at that place where he 
had been happy with his master Bachan, and where he had a monastery 
at Llanspyddid. He may have heard that the head of that establish- 
ment was dying, perhaps dead, and have deemed it well for him to 
retire thither and there end his days as head over the small community. 
Here we know that hard by the monastery was a Romano-British 
town, Caer Fenni or Y Gaer, which has been supposed to be the ancient 
Bannium of the Ravenna geographer. 

That Y Gaer is this Bannium has been disputed. Both Holder l and 
Mr. Haverfield 2 contend that the Bannium (al. Bannio) of the geo- 
grapher of Ravenna is Gobannium, Abergavenny. If so, then the Latin 
name of the walled town above Brecon on the Usk is unknown to us. 
But the hill on which it is situated is called Y Fenni, the wood on the 
slope is Coed Fenni, and the farm below it Fenni Fach. So we may 

1 Holder, Altceltisches Sprachschatze, i, s. voc. Gobannion. 

2 Haverfield, in Arch. Camb., 1903, p. 12. 

3 6 Lives of the British Saints 

suspect that its ancient name may have been Bannium or Benni 
with an addition, and this may have been Venta or Ventum, descriptive 
of its bare upland character. In the Cognatio de Brychan, Brychan is 
said to have been born at Benni, which is almost certainly this place. 
Jones, in his History of Brecknock, gives Caer Bannau as a name in use 
for what is now merely known as Y Gaer. So also Cliffe, in his Book of 
South Wales, 1847 ; but the form has no existence. The town was walled 
about, and contained villas and streets and hypocausts, and the entire 
hillside reveals Romano-British occupation. It stood on the Via Julia 
Montana, at its junction with a road from the south that descended into 
the Brecon basin by the Afon Tarell, and above another that entered it, 
descending the Honddu. It must have been a place of no little import- 
ance ; and what is more, it seems to have suddenly come to an end. It 
was destroyed, and no other town was built on its site. Here, then, we 
have several elements united that lead us to suspect that Y Gaer or 
Caer Fenni was the Beneventum to which Cadoc retired, and where he 
was slain, when the Saxons, after the taking of the city of Gleva, 
poured over the undefended district to the west, and the basin of Brecon 
was open to them through its two portals to the west, fatally gaping 
to invite an invader from that quarter. 

Hither Elli might easily come every year with his report as to the 
condition of Llancarfan. Hence, without difficulty, the body of 
Cadoc might be translated to his principal monastery when the Saxon 
grip was relaxed. 

There is, however, an objection. The walls of Bannium are of 
cut stone. Possibly enough Lifris may have made a blunder in saying 
that the original circumvallation was of earth ; he may have supposed 
that the ruined stone walls were due to Cadoc, who, in fact, may only 
have repaired them. 

One curious feature in the story is the taboo placed on any Briton 
penetrating into the town. This looks much like the result of intense 
national animosity. Lifris, indeed, gives his explanation. He says 
that the rule was established because those who held the town were 
afraid lest the Britons should steal away the sacred relics. This is 
the sort of explanation that would occur to the mind of a monk, but 
we may be quite sure that it was not the real meaning of the taboo. 
Perhaps for a while the Saxons held Bannium and would not allow 
any Briton within its walls as a military precaution. Lifris wrote at 
a period when body-snatching was practised extensively, and the 
relics of a saint meant money, when S. Petroc was carried to Redon, 
the relics of S. Neot to Huntingdonshire, and those of S. Maglorius 
were niched from Sark. There is no record of when the body of S. 

S. Cadoc 37 

Cadoc was taken back to Llancarfan. It was early, and its removal 
was followed by a flood. " The fine flowing fountain that was near the 
city came like a sea over the city, and the inhabitants presaged its 
being overwhelmed." x This may mean no more than that the Usk 
and the Yscir came down in a torrent owing to a thundercloud having 

At the time when the Danes were harassing the coast in the ninth 
century, the body of Cadoc was at Llancarfan. 2 

We are not told what was the age of Cadoc when he died. 

The following chronological scheme can be tentative only and 
approximate : 

S. Cadoc born . . " . . . . circ. 497 

Founds Llancarfan ....... circ. 518 

Goes to Ireland for three years . . . . . circ. 523-6 

Settles in Brecknock at Llanspyddid .... circ. 526 

Death of Gwynllyw and return to Llancarfan . . circ. 527 

Leaves for Scotland, consigning his abbey to Gildas . circ. 528-9 

Departs on pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem . . circ. 544 

Council of Llanddewi Brefi ...... circ. 545-6 

Return of Cadoc to Britain after the Council ) , , 

Disputes with Maelgwn and Rhun ab Maelgwn . j 

The Yellow Plague, goes to Armorica . . . . .547 

Returns to Llancarfan . . . . . circ. 551 

Summoned to Ireland by King Ainmire . . . circ. 564 

Returns to Llancarfan ...... circ. 565 

Resigns Llancarfan and retires to Beneventum . . circ. 575 

Killed by the Saxons ....... circ. 577 

We have included in this scheme a visit of Cadoc to Ireland, for 
King Ainmire summoned Gildas and other saints to restore the flagging 
Christianity in the isle, and although the Vita S. Cadoci says nothing 
about any visit made late in life to Ireland, yet it is not improbable that 
he may have responded to the call ; and the Irish regarded him, along 
with Gildas and David, as having done something to revive religion, and 
Cadoc was credited, as already said, with having furnished them with 
a form of the Mass. 3 It is, however, possible that Cadoc may have 
contented himself with furnishing a liturgy, and not have gone to 
Ireland in person. 

The following churches in Wales are under the patronage of S. Cadoc 
or Catwg : Llangattock-juxta-Usk, Llangattock Lingoed ( ? formerly 
Llangatwg Lennig), Llangattock Feibion Afel (" of the sons of Abel "), 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 76. 2 Ibid., p. 77. 

3 " Hi ritum celebrandi missam acceperunt a sanctis viris de Britannia, 
scilicet a Sancto David, a S. Gilda, et a S. [Ca]doco." "Catal. Ord. SS. 
in Hibernia," Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., ii, p. 287. 

38 Lives of the British Saints 

Penrhos (anciently Llangatwg Penrhos), Caerleon, Raglan and Treve- 
thin, in Monmouthshire ; Llancarfan, Llanmaes, Pendoylan (Pendeu- 
Iwyn), Pentyrch, Gelligaer, Cadoxton-juxta-Barry, Cadoxton-juxta- 
Neath (Llangatwg Glyn Nedd), and Port Eynon, in Glamorganshire ; 
Llangattock and Llanspyddid in Brecknockshire ; and Llangadog Fawr 
in Carmarthenshire. A meadow, Cae Maen Catwg (his stonefield), 
is near Gelligaer church ; and a Pistyll Catwg is given among the 
possessions of the canons of Llancarfan. Gwyddfa Gatwg (his mound) 
is situated in a dingle in the parish of Llanegwad, in Carmarthenshire. 
There was formerly a church dedicated to him in the parish of Mon- 
mouth, near the Castle, which was conferred by Withenoc, lord of 
Monmouth in the eleventh century, on the Benedictine monks of 
S. Florence of Saumur at Monmouth. In the Valor of 1535 (iv, p. 359) 
is mentioned a chantry, " Cantar' de S'to Cadoc' infr' D'n'm de Ber- 
geveny " (Abergavenny). There is a farm, called Llangatwg, in the 
parish of Llanedern, near Cardiff, which is no doubt the site of a 
dismantled chapel. 

There was also formerly a capella, now ruined, Llangadog, under 
K'dwelly, in Carmarthenshire, and another of the same name under 
Amlwch in Anglesey. 

According to a monumental inscription dated 1507, there was 
formerly a statue (imago) of the saint in Cadoxton-juxta-Neath 
church. 1 The Cadoc cult in Wales was practically confined to the 
south-eastern parts. 

In Brittany, Cadoc was highly venerated, especially in the diocese 
of Vannes. When the Thirty of the Franco-Breton party prepared 
to march from Josselin to fight the Thirty of the Anglo-Bretons 
at the Tree of Mil-voye in 1351, they paid their vows and offered 
; rayers before the altar of S. Cadoc in the principal church of Jos- 
selin. 2 

At Gouesnac'h, near Fouesnant, in Finistere, is a chapel of S. Cadou ; 
some years ago this chapel had a painted ceiling of wood, on which 
were represented scenes from the life of S. Cadoc. But, as on the 
occasion of the Pardon, regrettable abuses had crept in, or rather old 
pagan usages were continued, the Pardon was suppressed, and the 
chapel was allowed to fall into ruin. Of late years, the chapel has 

1 For a supposed figure of him in the niche over the south doorway of Llan- 
carfan church, see C. B. Fowler, Rambling Sketches in Diocese of Llandaff, Cardiff, 
1896, plate 7. It has now disappeared. 

2 De la Villemarque, in his Pieces Justificatives to his La iJegende Celtique, 
has published a hymn to S. Cadoc attributed to the Thirty B/etons. It is an 
impudent forgery. He also gives a ballad dialogue between Cadoc and Merlin. 
It is also a quite recent composition, passed off as an antique. 

From Statuette at Lampanl-Gnimiliait. 

S. Cadoc 3 9 

been restored, and the Pardon reinstituted, and is held on September 
28. Unhappily, the painted series on the roof has disappeared. S. 
Cadou in the Sizun district has been transferred to S. Cadoc from 
S. Cadfan, its original patron, as it lies in that part of the country 
where are the foundations of this saint. So also has Poullan been 
transferred to S. Cadoc, and the statue of Cadfan relegated to the 
garden of the presbytery, and S. Cadoc with palm-branch erected 
near the high altar. It is supposed that S. Cast, in Cotes du Nord, 
has Cadoc as its patron, but this is more than doubtful. 

The day of S. Cadoc in the Altemps Martyrology (end of thirteenth 
century) and in a Norwich Martyrology of the fifteenth century (Cotton 
MS. Julius B. vii) is January 23 ; so also a Worcester Calendar of the 
fifteenth century (Harl. MS. 7398). The Calendars of the Welsh 
Saints in the early thirteenth century, Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv, 
the Addl. MS. 14,886, lolo MSS., Peniarth MSS. 60 and 219, 
Hafod MS. 8, the Prymers of 1618 and 1633, Allwydd Par- 
adwys (1670), and in fact all the Welsh Calendars, give 
January 24. At Padstow, in Cornwall, near which are his chapel 
and well, also formerly on January 24. Rees in his Welsh Saints 
gives February 24, but this is a slip. Albert le Grand gives 
S. Cadoc on November i. Lobineau on September 21, the Vannes 
Breviaries of 1660 and 1757 also September 21. In the Quimper 
Breviaries up to 1838, September 21, then transferred to September 23. 
Whytford gives him as Saynt Codoke on January 24; Nicolas 
Roscarrock on the same day " S. Cadoc, Cathmael or Sophias, 
Bishop and Martyr " and the Exeter Martyrology. 

The Welsh accounts invariably ascribe the foundation of Llancarfan 
to Garmon, and they add that Dyfrig was its first Abbot, and that 
when he became Bishop of Llandaff he was succeeded by Catwg or 
Cadoc. This does not accord with the Vita. 

Tradition has it that Dyfrig was so devoted to Catwg that he made 
him his companion always in his travels, and that he continued to 
reside at Garnllwyd, near Llanfeithin. This does not appear to have 
been the case, for he usually resided at Ynys Byr or one of his other 

Llancarfan formed one of the three great Bangors or monastic 
establishments within the Diocese of Llandaff. The brotherhood 
numbered at one time as many as 2,000, and among them were Catwg's 
own brothers, Bugi and Cynfyw, and the brothers, as well as sons, of 
Gildas. The close connexion between Llancarfan and Ireland, which 
began with Catwg, was continued for a long time by his successors ; 
and it is very probable that the ninth century Welsh MS., the 

4-O Lives of the British Saints 

Juvencus Codex, now in the Cambridge University Library, which 
contains entries relating to Bishops of Armagh, belonged originally to 
the monastery of Llancarfan. 1 

The late Welsh Triads connect Catwg with King Arthur's Court, 
and they assert that he was one of its three " knights of upright judg- 
ment," " chaste knights," " wise chief counsellors," " wise bards," 
as well as one of the " three knights that kept the Holy Grail," 2 and 
one of the three " holy bachelors " (gwynfebydd) of the Isle of Brit- 


A cywydd poem written in his honour by Rhisiart ab Rhys of Llan- 
carfan (ftor. c. 1480-1520) is printed in the lolo MSS., 4 but it is evi- 
dently imperfect. It recounts chiefly his miracles. 

It is somewhat remarkable that, though the name bestowed on 
him by the angel, according to the legend, was Cathmail, this name 
should have been generally abandoned for Catwg or Cadog. Cathmail 
is an Irish form, and was the name with which the Irish hermit baptized 
him. 5 It would now assume in Welsh the form Cadfael, and means 
literally " a war-prince or battle-hero." Cadog is a diminutive, cut 
down from Cadfael, and appears under the early form Catacus on 
the Llanfihangel Cwm Du inscribed stone. 

The epithet Doeth, " wise," as applied to Catwg is comparatively 
late. The earliest genealogies, those for instance in the thirteenth 
century Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45, know him only as " Cadwc Sant 
ab Gwynlliw ab Gliwis ab Tegit ab Cadell of Llan gadwc in Gwent." 
The earliest date that we have been able to find for the epithet is the 
latter part of the seventeenth century, 6 when the confusion between 
him and Cato the philosopher had become established. The confusion 
was due to a similarity in name, just as the name Beneventum led to 
his being confounded with S. Sophias. 

1 Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., i, p. 198. 

2 It has been supposed that he was the original of Sir Galahad. 

3 Myv. Arch., pp. 409, 411, 755. 

4 Pp. 301-2. Copies of it occur in Llanstephan MSS. 47 and 164. 

5 In the Book of Llan Ddv, p. 131, the Abbot of Llancarfan is called " Abbas 
Catmaili " ( Catoci). Cadoc is usually called by this name in Irish hagiology. 
See, e.g., the Life of S. Finnian of Clonard in Colgan's^cto SS. Hib., i, p. 393, 
where will be found a remarkable legend of the miraculous drying up of the lake 
on whose site Llancarfan and Melboc or Melboi were to stand. The Breton 
forms of his name are Cado, Cazou, and Cazout, but the Welsh form appears 
in the name Pleucadeuc. The Vita states (p. 69) that the Bretons called him 
Catbodu, which would now be Cadfoddw in Welsh. (See Mr. Phillimore's note 
in Y Cymmrodor, xi, p. 92.) The -og and -wg (for earlier -auc and -we) of Cadog 
and Catwg seem to be merely variants ; cf. such forms as Cinauc and Cinuc, and 
Matauc and Matuc, in the Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 408, 411 (index). 

6 Myv. Arch., pp. 751-6. 

S. Cadoc 41 

Cato was a very popular author in the Middle Ages with the Welsh, 
as with other western European nations. " The Book of Cado or 
Cato " is mentioned in the Red Book of Hergest l and the lolo MSS. 
" Sayings of the Wise," 2 and in one of the Triads in the former he 
is said to have been one of the three men who " received the wisdom 
of Adam." 3 In Welsh MSS. of the early fourteenth to the seven- 
teenth centuries in the Peniarth and other collections he is called Cadw 
Hen or Ddoeth, and the name also occurs in an oblique case as Cattwn 
Ddoeth, with which Catwg was easily confounded. 

A considerable portion of the Myvyrian Archaiology is taken up with 
what is called " the Wisdom of the Welsh," and a large section of it 4 
is comprised of "The Book called YGwyddfarddCyfarwydd, which Catwg 
Ddoeth composed." It is printed from a transcript of copies made 
about 1670-80. The collection embraces aphorisms, proverbs, philo- 
sophy, and triads of an ethical nature, numbering in all 190 pieces of 
varying length, in prose and verse, each subscribed " Catwg Ddoeth 
composed it." 5 A good portion of them is thrown into syllogistic 
form, and the ideas are often pantheistic and gnostic. The phrase- 
ology and the general sentiments and terms employed are late medi- 

Copies of these apothegms are to be found in a number of MSS. 6 
of especially the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but they are 
always attributed to Cato, Cadw, or Cattwn Hen or Ddoeth. It will 
be found on comparing the Myvyrian " Wisdom " (which has been 
supposed to comprise a system of philosophy) with these MSS., that 
the whole is merely a patchwork of Welsh renderings or developments 
of the well-known Disticha or Dicta Catonis, so popular in Western 
Europe from as early as the eighth century. The aphorisms are 
nowhere referred to Cadoc in the Vita, nor even mentioned ; nor does 
he therein appear to have been in the habit of uttering anything 
so remarkable as to justify his being at any time assigned the role 
of a Welsh doctor. 7 The following is ascribed to him in the " Say- 
ings of the Wise " printed in the lolo MSS. : 8 

1 Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, ii, p. 226. 

2 P. 252. 3 y Cymmrodor, iii, p. 53. * Pp. 756-811. 

5 For a translation of a considerable number of them see the Cambrian 
Register, vol. iii; also into French in the Revue Celtique, 1878, iii, 419-442. 

6 The earliest is Peniarth MS. 3, written c. 1300 (" The Counsels of Cadw Hen, 
or the Elder, to Cadw the Younger"), and copies, of the fifteenth to the seven- 
teenth centuries, occur in Peniarth MSS. 27, 88, 94 ; Cardiff MSS. 6, 18, etc. 

7 De la Villemarque has devoted a chapter to the wisdom of Cadoc, based on 
these aphorisms. 

8 P. 252. 

4.2 Lives of the British Saints 

Bast thou heard the saying of Catwg 
The Wise, the son of Gwynllyw, of Essyllwg (Siluria) ? 
"Let the heart be where the appearance is." 
(Bid galon lie bo golwg.) 

In the same volume x are a number of fables, each with a moral, 
which are attributed to him. This late reputation for wisdom grew 
to such an extent that every saying or proverb was at last ascribed to 

Cadoc is invoked in the tenth century Litany published by Warren 
as Catoce. 2 

S. CAD ROD, of Calchfynydd, Prince, Confessor 

CADRAWD, or Cadrod, of Calchfynydd, was a son of Cynwyd 
Cynwydion, of the line of Coel Godebog, and the brother of Clydno 
Eiddyn, Cynan Genhir, and Cynfelyn Drwsgl. The lolo MSS. 3 
make them all disciples of S. Cadoc at Llancarfan. According to 
the Cognatio de Brychan, Cadrod was the husband of Gwrygon 
Goddheu, daughter of Brychan, who is called in the later genealogies 
Gwrgon. 4 He was lord of Calchfynydd, which is identified in the 
lolo MSS. 5 with Dunstable. In the sixteenth century Peniarth MS. 
135 he is designated " Earl of Dunstable and Lord of Hampshire " 
(Swydd Hantwn). Skene, 6 however, thought it was Kelso, in 
Roxburghshire, which is more probable. The name means the 
Lime or Chalk Mountain. 

Among the " Sayings of the Wise " 7 occurs the following 

Hast thou heard the saying of Cadrod, 
Of Calchfynydd, of great meditation ? 
" The best woman is the woman without a tongue." 
(Goreu gwraig gwraig heb dafawd.) 

1 P. IS4- * Revue Celtique, 1888, p. 88. 

3 Pp. 105, 128. 

4 Sometimes, e.g., Peniarth MS. 131 (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries), 
Cadrod's wife is said to have been a daughter of Brychan named Gwenfrewi. 

6 P. 1 20. 

6 Four Ancient Books of Wales, i, p. 172 ; ii, p. 406. 

7 lolo MSS., p. 257. 

S. Cadwaladr Fendigaia 43 


CADWALADR, son of Cadwallon ab Cadfan, was the last of the Welsh 
princes who assumed the title of Gwledig or chief sovereign of Britain. 1 
Cadwallon had been defeated by Edwin, when young, and he had fled 
to Ireland. Returning to Britain, he assumed the title of king, and 
defended the title in a series of battles. The Welsh of Gwynedd and 
Powys rallied to his flag in large numbers, and going to the assistance 
of Penda, he completely defeated Edwin at Heathfield in 633. For 
a while Cadwallon overpowered the Northumbrians, and proceeded 
to devastate the whole region. " Cadwalla," says Bede, " though he 
bore the name and professed himself a Christian, was so barbarous in 
his disposition and behaviour, that he neither spared the female sex 
nor the innocent age of children, but with savage cruelty put them 
to torturing deaths, ravaging all their country for a long time, and 
resolving to cut off all the race of the English within the borders of 
Britain. Nor did he pay any respect to the Christian religion wh'ch 
had newly taken root among them ; it being to this day the custom 
of the Britons not to pay any regard to the faith and religion of 
the English, nor to correspond with them any more than with 
pagans." 2 

The sons of Ethelfrid attempted to retrieve the fortunes of Deira, 
but Cadwallon encountered them, defeated and slew them both, in 
635. But Oswald placed himself at the head of a small and resolute 
band and continued the struggle, and finally met Cadwallon in a 
pitched battle at Heaven's Field, and gained a complete victory. 
Cadwallon, the last hero of the British race victor, according to the 
Welsh tradition, in fourteen battles and in sixty skirmishes perished 
in the defeat. The Britons evacuated Northumbria, never to 
return, and withdrew behind the Severn. 

Cadwaladr, the son of Cadwallon, now headed the Britons. He 
is said to have led the Welsh against Oswiu, but his lack of courage 
brought on him a nickname Cadomedd (battle-shunner) instead of 
Cadafael (battle-seizer), with which he was first greeted. 3 

In 658 Cenwalh, King of Ihe West Saxons, brought against him a r) L 
powerful army, and a battle was fought at Peonne in Somersetshire, 
when the Britons were routed with terrible slaughter, and were pursued x-> <v 
as far as Pedrida, on the river Parret. Cadwaladr was ill-suited to g 

1 With him Geoffrey's Brut appropriately terminates. His son was Idwal 
Iwrch. The name Cadwaladr means " battle-ruler." 

2 Hist. Eccl., ii, 20. 

3 Nennius, c. 65 ; Rhys, Celtic Britain, 3rd ed., pp. 134-5. 

4.4 Lives of the British Saints 

lead the warlike and unfortunate Britons. He was of an amiable 
and peaceable disposition, more disposed to frequent churches than 

In 664 a plague broke out which spread desolation over Britain and 
Ireland, and great numbers perished in it ; and one of the victims 
was the British king. 1 

His son was Idwal, and it has been supposed that Cadwaladr's 
daughter married Cenbert and was mother of Ceadwalla. Ceadwalla 
went to Rome on pilgrimage and died there, and the similarity of 
names has led to confusion. It has been related that Cadwaladr ran 
away from Britain to escape the plague, and took refuge with Alan, 
King of Armorica. There was no such a king in Brittany at the time. 
The story goes on to say that. as he was preparing to return home 
an angel appeared to him and commanded him to relinquish his pur- 
pose and undertake a pilgrimage to Rome. Resigning his kingdom, 
therefore, in favour of his son, Ifor, he died on May 12, 688. 

The confusion is obvious. He and Ceadwalla have been con- 
founded together. Ceadwalla was an atrocious ruffian. He subdued 
the Isle of Wight with the deliberate intention of putting all the in- 
habitants to the sword, and he carried out his purpose with unpitying 
ferocity, killing men, women and children, that he might replace the 
Jute colonists with his own West Saxons. Having accomplished 
his bloody purpose, he handed over the spoil to S. Wilfrid, who does 
not seem to have lifted a finger to avert the massacre, but looked 
on with cold eye, unsympathetic, because the wretched Jutes were 

Ceadwalla went to Rome in 688, and was well received by Pope 
Sergius I, who baptized him, and he died a few days after. The Pope 
ordered a laudatory epitaph to be inscribed on the tomb of this mur- 
derous monster, and his relics to be honoured. 

Cadwaladr was a far more respectable personage. He was mild 
and generous, but a poor creature nevertheless. We may set his 
death as taking place in 664, twenty-four years before that of Cead- 

1 Nennius says : " Oswald, son of Ethelfrid, reigned nine years ... he 
slew Catgublaun (Cadwallon), King of Guenedotia, in the battle of Catscaul, 
with much loss to his own army. Oswiu, son of Ethelfrid, reigned twenty- 
eight years and six months. During his reign, there was a dreadful mortality 
among his subjects, when Catgualart (Cadwaladr) was king among the Britons, 
succeeding his father ; and he himself died amongst the rest." The Annales 
Cambria, under the year 682, make him die then of the plague in Britain. See, 
generally, on the date and place of his death, Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, 
etc., i, p. 202. 

S. Cadwaladr Fendigaid 45 

The Welsh Triads state that Golyddan the Bard some time or other 
gave him a box on the ears, for which he paid the penalty by an axe- 
blow on the head ; that he was one of the three sovereigns of the 
Isle of Britain who wore golden bands (insignia of supreme power) ; 
and that he was one of its three Blessed Sovereigns, on account of 
the protection that he afforded to " the faithful who fled from the 
faithless Saxons and the foreigners." * He seems to derive his 
epithet Bendigaid from this, as well as from his having been con- 
founded with Ceadwalla. 

There are several churches dedicated to him or supposed to have 
been founded by him Llangadwaladr, otherwise called Tref Esgob, 
Bishopston or Bishton (under Llanwern), and Magwyr or Magor 
(now dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary), in Monmouthshire ; 
Llanfihangel Fedwy, 2 or Michaelston-y-Vedw (now to the Archangel), 
partly in Glamorganshire and partly in Monmouthshire ; Llangad- 
waladr, :n Denbighshire, formerly called Bettws Cadwaladr (i.e., his 
bead-house) ; and Llangadwaladr, previously called, it is said, Eglwys 
Ael, in Anglesey, near Aberffraw, where the kings of Gwynedd resided. 
His grandfather, Cadfari, was buried at Eglwys Ael, and a rude in- 
scription on a rough stone, of apparently the seventh century, 
runs " Catamanus rex sapientisimus opinatisimus omnium regum." 
In the parish of Llanddeiniolfab, in Anglesey, are the remains of an 
ancient small building called Capel Llangadwaladr. 

All the Welsh Calendars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries 
give November 12 as his Festival. Rees, 3 however, on the authority 
of Sir H. Nicolas, gives October 9. So also Browne Willis. 

The following occurs among the " Sayings of the Wise " 4 

Hast thou heard the saying of Cadwaladr, 
King of All Wales ; 

" The best crooked thing is the crooked handle of a plough." 
(Goreu cloflf yw cloff aradr.) 

Heraldry speaks of the standard of the Red Dragon of King Cad- 
waladr, which was borne before him to battle. It was probably the 
ensign of the Insularis Draco, with which title Gildas styles Maelgwn 
Gwynedd, the Gwledig. & 

Cadwaladr was long expected to return some day to lead the 
Brythons to victory, to assert the ancient rights of his family, the 

1 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 301, 305 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 393, 403-5. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 221. 3 Welsh Saints, p. 301. 

4 lolo MSS., p. 257 ; cf. Myv. Arch., p. 846. 

5 On the standard, and the title Pendragon, see Zimmer, Nennius Vindicates, 
Berlin, 1893, p. 286, note. 

4.6 Lives of the British Saints 

Kessarogyon or Caesarians, and to restore to them their rightful 
" crown and sovereignty." There is a number of predictive poems 
relating to him in the thirteenth century MS., the Book of Tahessin. 1 

Truly he will come 

With his host and his ships, 

His scaring shields, 

And charging lances. 

And after a valiant shout, 

His will shall be done ! " 

He has his Welsh analogues in Arthur and Owen Lawgoch. 

S. CADWALADR, Abbot, Confessor 

A DISCIPLE of S. Cadoc who accompanied him to Armorica, where 
he founded a daughter house to Llancarfan on an islet in the Sea of 
Belz. When Cadoc had well established this house he placed over 
it Cadwaladr as its head. 2 

Cadoc had constructed a causeway between the mainland and the 
island, but this went to pieces after he left. According to the legend, 
it was miraculously repaired by angels, and made stronger than before. 
This means no more than that Cadwaladr set his monks to work to 
reconstruct it. 3 

One church in Brittany is supposed to regard him as patron, 
S. Segal near Chateaulin, where is his statue. He is there commemor- 
ated on the Sunday nearest to October 18. 


ONE pedigree in the lolo MSS.* includes Cadwallon, or Caswallon, 
Lawhir (the Long-handed) among the Welsh Saints, and states, 
" Caswallon Lawhir, the son of Einion Yrth ab Cunedda Wledig, 
founded a church for God in the place where he obtained a victory 
over his enemies, and called it Llan y Gwyddyl (the church of the 

1 Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, i, pp. 436-46. The lolo MSS., p. 125, 
state that it will take place -when his bones are brought from Rome ; of. the 
" Epitome " in Cambro-British Saints, p. 283. 

2 Vita S. Cadoci, Cambro-British Saints, p. 68. 3 Ibid., p. 69. 
4 P. 123. His mother's name was Prawst. 

S. C a em en 47 

Goidels). It is in Anglesey, and is now called Cerrig y Gwyddyl." x 
Caswallon is reported to have slain Serigi the Goidel with his own 
hand, and thus to have given the death-blow to the Goidelic occupa- 
tion of North Wales and completed the Cuneddan conquest. Welsh 
tradition persistently credits him with having crushed the Goidels. 2 
He died, as it is believed, in 517, and was succeeded by his son, the 
celebrated Maelgwn Gwynedd. The true form of his name was 
Cadwallon Lawhir. 3 He was a munificent patron of SS. Cybi, Seiriol, 
and Elian, but especially of S. Elian ; and the remains of his palace, 
Llys Caswallon, near Llaneilian, may still be seen. 

Llan or Capel y Gwyddyl (also called Eglwys y Bedd), erected over 
the spot where Serigi fell, stands close to the present parish church 
of Holyhead. Tradition has it that Serigi's remains were removed 
hence by the Goidels and re-interred in Dublin. 

As there is in reality no authority for including Caswallon among 
the Welsh Saints, we will not pursue his history further. 

S. CADWR, Bishop, Confessor 

HE is mentioned as a Saint in one passage only, 4 and he is therein 
said to have been a son of Ednyfed ab Macsen Wledig, and bishop in 
"the Isle of Britain." He resided at Caerleon on Usk. His father 
was King of Gwent, as was also his brother Dyfnwal Hen. 

S. CADWY, see S. Cado 

S. CAEMEN, or CYMMUN, Abbot, Confessor 

EGLWYS CYMMUN, or Eglwys Gymmun, in Carmarthenshire, 
probably takes its name from an Irish Saint, Caemen or Coemen, the 
brother of S. Cuacha, Ciwa or Kewe, and of S. Athracta, and half- 

1 This place is near Malldraeth, in S. Anglesey (see Lewis Morris, Celtic Remains, 
s.v. Serigi). 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 78-82 ; Triads in Myv. Arch., pp. 391, 397. 

3 See the old Welsh genealogies of Harl. MS. 3859, the Bonedd in Peniarth 
MS. 45, and the Red Book Bruts, p. 200. He received the epithet " Long- 
handed " because he could " reach a stone from the ground to kill a crow without 
bending his back " ; see Gweithiau lolo Goch, ed. Ashton, p. 669. 

* lolo MSS., p. 138. 

Lives of the British Saints 

brother of S. Coemgen or Kevin of Glendalough. His nephew, 
S. Dagan, had a chapel at Llanwnda in Pembrokeshire. The pedigree 
seems to be this : 

Talan= Coemgell= Coemlog 



1 1 


S. Caemen, 

S. Cuacha, 

S. Athracta, S. Coemgen, 

Melda Coeltighern 

Abb. of 


Abbess. Abb. Glenda- 



Ana trim 

(Ciwa) . 


Cormac Colman 

in Ossory. 

d. 617. 


K. of Hy 


S. Natcaim 

of Tir-da-glas, S. Abban. 

d. 584. 

1 1. 

S. Dagan, S. Moliba. S. Critan. 
d. c. 640. 

Caemen is mentioned in the Calendar of (Engus, and is there spoken 
of as the brother of S. Coemgen. 1 He had been a disciple of S. Moc- 
hoemog or Pulcherius, abbot of Enach-Truim or Anatrim, and to him 
Pulcherius surrendered the abbacy. He had also been a pupil of 
S. Columba of Tir-da-glas, along with S. Fintan. 2 

In the Life of S. Pulcherius is this story. The saint went to Anatrim 
and began to build a cell there. Then a man came up and forbade 
his proceeding with the work. Pulcherius replied that he would go 
on unless his hand were forcibly stayed. Then the man held his 
arms to stop him. Pulcherius inquired his name, and he replied that 
it was Bronach, " the sad one." " Sad, indeed, shalt thou be," said 
Pulcherius, " for you and your family will be expelled this country. 
But here I shall remain, till a man of God named Coeman comes 
here, to him I shall resign the place, and this shall be the place of 
his resurrection." 3 

The day on which S. Caemen, or Coemen, is commemorated in the 
Martyrology of Oengus, in that of O'Gorman, in those of Drummond 
and Donegal is November 3. 

S. Pulcherius died 490-8 ; Columba of Tir-da-glas in 548 ; 
his brother or half-brother S. Coemgen in 617 ; his fellow disciple, 
S. Fintan, in 634. We may, accordingly, place the date of the death 
of S. Caemen in the first half of the seventh century. 

In a MS. in the British Museum, temp. Edward III, the church is 
called " Ecclesia de Sancto Cumano." 4 In the Valor of 1535 it is 

1 F&lire of Oengus, ed. Whitley Stokes, p. clxviii. 
- A eta SS. Hibern., Cod. Salam., col. 290. 

3 Colgan, Acta SS. Hibern., p. 590. 

4 Arch. Camb., 1907, p. 261. 

S. Caffo 49 

given as " Eglus Kemen." An inscribed stone there has on it 
"Cunigni," but that would only yield Cynin in Welsh. See under 
S. CYNIN. The name, however, occurs on one of the two early in- 
scribed stones at Llandilo, in Pembrokeshire, which reads " Coimagni 
Fili Caveti." 


REES, in his Essay on the Welsh Saints, 1 gives the church of Clo- 
caenog, Denbighshire, as dedicated to a S. Caenog, but no saint of the 
name occurs in the saintly pedigrees. In the Myvyrian alphabetical 
catalogue 2 Clocaenog is entered under Arianwen, daughter of Brychan 
and wife of lorwerth Hirflawdd, King of Powys. She is there said to 
be the mother of Caenog Mawr. This is not correct. In the pedigrees 
in Mostyn MS. 117 (late thirteenth century) Caenog is made to be the 
son of S. Tegonwy ab Teon, and father of Corf. He was therefore 
brother, not son, of lorwerth Hirflawdd, and also brother of SS. 
Llywelyn, of Welshpool, and Mabon. lorwerth was father of Idnerth. 
Browne Willis 3 gives Clocaenog as dedicated to a S. Vodhyd, with 
August 27 as festival. In the lolo MSS. calendar Feddwid is entered 
against that day, but who the saint was we know not. The initial 
letter of the name, if Welsh, would be either B or M. Sometimes 
the church is stated to be dedicated to S. Trillo. This seems to 
be a mistake, to be referred to the Trylokaynoc for Clocaenog 
in the parish list in Peniarth MS. 147 (latter part of sixteenth 
century), and the Trillo Caenog of the Myvyrian list. 4 The name 
appears to mean the Clawdd, or earthwork, of Caenog. Caenog occurs 
also in the farm name Caenog and in Esgyn Gaenog, in the parish 
of Gwyddelwern, and in the township of the name in the parish of 

S. CAFFO, Martyr 

CAFFO was a son of Caw and brother of Gildas. He seems to have 
attached himself to S. Cybi. He probably was with him in Ireland 
when he visited Enda in Aran, where Cybi remained four years. We 

1 P- 333- 2 P- 4 T 7- 3 Survey of Bangor, pp. 278, 327. 4 P. 742. 


50 Lives of the British Saints 

do not, however, hear him mentioned till Cybi came to Anglesey. 
Then the legend tells how Cybi, being without fire, sent his disciple 
Caffo to fetch fire from a smith, and how the pupil returned bearing 
red-hot charcoal in the lap of his habit. This is an anecdote that 
recurs over and over again in the lives of the Celtic Saints. 

After this ensued a rupture between Cybi and his disciple. There 
are two Lives of S. Cybi in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv. The first says : 
" And S. Cybi said to his disciple Caffo, Depart from me, for we two 
cannot get on together. And he went to the town called at this day 
Merthyr Caffo, and there the Rosuir l shepherds killed Caffo. There- 
fore the blessed Cybi cursed the shepherds of Rosuir and their mis- 
tress," perhaps the wife of Maelgwn. Merthyr Caffo is now Llan- 
gaffo, which occurs as its name in the Norwich Taxatio of 1254. This 
comes in awkwardly, interrupting a story of how Maelgwn consented 
to make over land to Cybi. 2 

The second Life omits the passage relative to Caffo. Now it is sig- 
nificant that it was on the meeting of Cybi with Maelgwn that Cybi 
was forced to dismiss Caffo from his attendance, and that shortly 
after some of Maelgwn 's people should fall on and kill Caffo. When 
we know that Caffo was the brother of Gildas the whole is ex- 

Caffo was first cousin to Cybi, and very probably the estrangement 
between him and the saint was due to the publication of Gildas's 
intemperate epistle, in which Maelgwn was made an object for invective 
of the most insulting character. We can well understand that the 
king was ill-pleased to have the cousin of his reviler settle on his 
lands, and that he consented to tolerate his presence only on con- 
dition that he should dismiss the brother of Gildas. We see also 
a reason for the murder of Caffo. The shepherds took up the 
quarrel, and slew Caffo in revenge for the abuse poured on their 

Near Llangaffo, now a chapel under Llangeinwen, was his holy 
well, called Crochan or Ffynnon Gaffo, " at which it was customary 
to offer young cocks to the saint to prevent children from crying 
(or being peevish). The family derived no benefit by the offering 
unless the priest ate the sacrifice." 3 It was called Crochan, or 
Cauldron, from the bubbling of its water. The well has now dis- 
appeared, but the farm near it is still called Crochan Caffo. There 

1 I.e., Rhosfyr, now Newborough. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 186-7. 

3 Myv. Arch., p. 420; Angharad Llwyd, History* of Anglesey, p. 269; Y 
Traethodydd, 1862, pp. 314-5. 

S. Caian 5 i 

are two wells in the parish of Newborough called Crochan Llanddwyn 
and Crochan Tynycoed. 

Caffo is said to have been a saint in Cyngar's Cor 1 at Llangenys, in 
Glamorgan. As Cyngar was uncle of S. Cybi, and his companion in 
his old age, the statement is probable enough. Four brothers and a 
sister of Caffo have dedications in Anglesey. 2 His festival does not 
occur in any of the Calendars, but Browne Willis 3 gives November i 
as the wake at Llangaffo. 

S. CAI, Confessor 

THE lolo A/55. 4 pedigrees give his name among the sons, or rather 
reputed sons, of Brychan. His church is said to have been at Aber 
Cai, and was destroyed by the " Black Nation " (the Danes). He 
is not to be confounded with Cai Hir of Caer Gai, the Roman station 
by Bala Lake. This Cai was the celebrated Sir Kay, the Seneschal 
of Arthurian romance, and son of Cynyr Farfog. 

S. CAIAN, Confessor 

Ix the lolo M55. 5 he is said to have been a son of Caw, but mPeniarth 
MSS. 75 and 178, and the Myvyrian Archaeology 6 he is included 
among the sons of Brychan. He is patron of Tregaian, a chapel under 
Llangefni, in Anglesey, and of a church in Powys, but which is not 
mentioned. Rees, 7 on the authority of Sir Harris Nicolas, gives 
September 25 as his festival, but Browne Willis 8 gives the wake at 
Tregaian as November i, whilst another authority gives " the village 
festival " as November I5. 9 

1 lolo MSS., p. 117. 

2 Their names are preserved in Anglesey in the following pennill, possibly 

" Peirio, Eugrad, gwyr o'n bro, 
A Gallgo, Caffo, a Maelog, 
Oedd feibion cawr o Frydain gain, 
A chwaer i'r rhai'n oedd Cwyllog." 

3 Survey of Bangor, p. 281. * Pp. 120, 140. 5 P. 117. 

6 Pp. 419-20. . Welsh Saints, p. 146. 8 Survey of Bangor, p. 281. 

9 Arch. Camb., 1847, P- 45- 

52 Lives of the British Saints 


THERE has been no little confusion about this virgin recluse, who 
was one of the daughters of Brychan, owing to the different forms 
under which her name occurs. Besides the above forms, it has been 
supposed that she was known also as Ceneu, an imaginary daughter of 
Brychan ; and out of her name Cein (or Cain) Wyry has been evolved 
a male saint, Ceinwr. Cein wen is Cain-f-gwen, " the holy or blessed 
Cain," with which may be compared, among others, the name of 
her sister Dwynwen, which occurs in the Cognatio as Dwyn. In 
the late Brychan lists l her name generaljy appears under this 

The earliest mention of her name is in the Cognatio de Brychan of 
Cott. Vesp. A. xiv. The entry runs : " Kein ythrauil ogmor (i.e., in 
bifurgatione illius fluuii)," " Cain in the heidiftg. of the Ogmore (i.e., 
within the two branches of that river)." 2 The place meant is Llan- 
geinor, in Glamorganshire, in the fork of the Garw and Ogmore rivers, 
which appears in two late sixteenth century parish-lists 3 as Llan 
igain wyr and Llangeinwyr, and in the Myvyrian list 4 as the latter 
form, that is, Llan Gain Wyryf, the church of S. Cain the Virgin. 
The author of the Life of S. Keyne 5 says she was called by the Britons 
" Keyn wiri, id est Keyn virgo." Cain means fair, beautiful, bright, 
white. The legend says that as a girl she at times shone like the sun, 
and at others appeared as white as drifted snow. 

Haddan and Stubbs 6 include her among those " saints of whom 
no reliable evidence can be found that they ever existed at all " ; but 
this is going too far. 

According to the legend, she abandoned her home in Brecknockshire, 
and directing her voyage across the Severn, settled at Keynsham in 

1 lolo MSS., pp. in, 120, 140; Myv. Arch., pp. 419-20. Cain is not un- 
common as a river name. 

2 In the later Cognatio of Cott. Dom. i, the entry occurs as " Keinbreit apud 
Teraslogur." ythrauil, glossed in bifurgatione, stands for ithr, " between," 
and auil, "the forks" (from gafi). 

3 Dr. J.Gwenogvryn Evans, Rep ort on Welsh MSS., i, p. 919. In two docu- 
ments of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries it occurs as Egluskeinwir, 
Birch, Margam Abbey, 1897, pp. !34> 306 ; also as the Chapel of S. Kehinweber, 
ibid., p. 133 ; in Cardiff MS. 10 (1550-160x1) as Llan gainwyry ; in Leland, Itin. t 
iv, fo. 67, as Llanginwire. 

4 P. 748. 

5 See John of Tynemouth's Life of S. Keyna in MS. Cott. Tiberius E. : ; 
Bodl. Tanner MS. 15 ; Bodl. MS. 240; and Capgrave's edition of the same in 
MS. Cott. Otho D. ix (printed in Nova Leg. Anglia) and York Cathedral MS. 
xvi, c. i. It occurs in the Bollandists' Ada SS., 8 Oct. iv, p. 275. See also 
Rees, Welsh Saints, pp. 153-6. 

6 Councils, etc., i, pp. 156-7. 

S. Cam 5 3 

Somersetshire, where she turned the reptiles into stone. This is how 
the natives explained the existence of ammonites found in the lias 
rocks. The like account is given of their origin in the cliffs of Whitby, 
where the miracle is attributed to S. Hilda. 

After some years spent at Keynsham she retired to a certain 
" Monticulus " near her home, where she caused a spring to break 
forth that was of great virtue. 

S. Cadoc, on his journey to the continent from Llancarfan, passed 
through Cornwall, and took ship at, or disembarked in, Penzance 
Bay. On his way he visited his aunt. 

Rees l considers that the S. Michael's Mount, to which S. Cadoc 
was travelling when he visited her, is a hill near Abergavenny. But 
in the Life of S. Cadoc the visit is to S. Michael's Mount in Cornwall. 
The cult of the archangel had not invaded the Celtic Church so early 
as this, indeed not till the eighth century. She must have been at 
some time in Cornwall, where, near Liskeard, are a parish church and 
holy well attributed to her. And this is in a neighbourhood planted 
with kinsfolk, S. Clether, S. Cynog, and S. Cynin. 

According to the legend, when her death approached angels visited 
her. One divested her of her coarse shift, and another invested her 
in a fine linen garment, over which he threw a scarlet tunic woven 
with gold thread in stripes. S. Cadoc ministered to her when she died, 
and buried her in her oratory. 

The legend is late, and, like all such manufactured productions, 
devoid of historic details. It was not till 710 that S. Michael was 
supposed to have appeared on the " tumba " in Normandy, and the 
foundation on S. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, was not made till 1044. 
The anachronism, therefore, of making S. Cadoc in the sixth century 
go on a pilgrimage to S. Michael's Mount, whether that in Normandy 
or that in Cornwall, is obvious. 

Cain is the patroness of Llangeinor, in Glamorganshire, and probably 
of Llangain, in Carmarthenshire (but see next article), which is also 
known as Eglwys Cain (or Gain) and Maenor Gain. She was the 
original patron of Kentchurch (now the- Blessed Virgin Mary) in 
Herefordshire, which was formerly called Llangain, 2 and Ecclesia de 
Sancta Keyna or Keynechurche. 3 In the T alley Abbey Charter of 
1331 occurs a place called Lankeinwyry. 4 There is a Ffynnon Gain 

1 Welsh Saints, p. 154. 

8 Book of Llan Ddv. p. 275. 

3 Cartulary of S. Peter's, Gloucester, i, pp. 210, 287 ; ii, p. 212 ; iii, p. 269. 
A capella of hers is also mentioned. 

4 Daniel-Tyssen and Evans, Carmarthen Charters, 1878, p. 62. Llwyncyn- 
hwyra is four miles south-west of Talley Abbey. 

54 Lives of the British Saints 

in the parish of Bletherston, in Pembrokeshire. Keynsham Church, 
now dedicated to S. John Baptist, was dedicated to her originally. 
The name occurs in Domesday as Cainessam. As Ceinwen she is 
patroness of Llangeinwen and Cerrig Ceinwen, in Anglesey. 

There are in Cornwall dedicated to her, S. Keyne, by Liskeard, 
where is her famous holy well, 1 Kenwyn, by Truro, and a chapel 
at East Looe, re-dedicated to S. Anne. The well is situated about 
half a mile from the church, and is covered with old masonry. The 
husband or wife who first drinks the water of the well after marriage 
retains the mastery ever after. It is the subject of a ballad by Sou they, 
which concludes with the following verse 

I hasten'd as soon as the wedding was done, 

And left my wife in the porch ; 
But, i' faith, she had been wiser than me, 

For she took a bottle to church ! , 

The Calendars in the lolo MSS., Sir John Prys's Prymer (1546), and 
Hafod MS. 8 give S. Cain, or Ceinwen, on October 8. Allwydd 
Paradwys (1670), however, enters " S. Keina " on the 7th. Angharad 
Llwyd says her festival at Llangeinwen was the second Sunday after 
Michaelmas. 2 Browne Willis 3 gives October 7 for Llangeinwen and 
Cerrig Ceinwen. 

Cressy, in his Church History of Brittany, Rouen, 1668, gives S. 
Keina on October 8. Whytford does so as well : " The feest also of 
Saynt Keyna, called also Saynt Keynwir a virgyn, and doughter vnto 
Saynt Breghan Kynge of breknoke in Wales, whiche had xii sones and 
xii doughters all holy sayntes ; one of y e which doughters was moder 
unto Saynt David, and this virgyn an other that was shewed by reue- 
lacyon before her byrth ; and after forsoke her kynne and countree, 
and dwelled in a desert full of venymous serpentes, whiche by her 
prayers were turned al in to stones that yet unto this daye done 
kepe the fourme and fashon of y e same serpentes, where she contynued 
in hygh p'feccyon and many myracles." 

The Ceinwr of the lolo MSS. owes his existence to the name of 
the parish, Llangeinwr, now Llangeinor. In one document 4 it is 
said that he was a son of Cedig ab Dyfnwal Hen, and a saint of Llan- 
twit ; but the genealogies usually give only Tudwal Tudclud, Serwan, 
and Senyllt as sons of this Cedig. Another document, 5 ascribing to 

1 Quiller-Couch, Ancient and Holy Wells of Cornwall, 1894, pp. 107-112. 

2 History of Anglesey, 1833, P- 2 75 ', so also Arch. Camb., 1847, p. 42, where it 
is further stated that at Cerrig Ceinwen it was October 8. 

3 Survey of Bangor, p. 281. 4 P. 138. & P. 148. 

S. Cain 5 5 

him the foundation of Llangeinwr, adds, " S. Ceinwr, the son of 
Coel ab Cyllin ab Caradog ab Bran ab Llyr Llediaith ab Baran ab 
Ceri Hir Lyngwyn, founded the church of Llangeinwr in Glamorgan. 
He was a man who would not believe any being corporeal or spiritual, 
neither out of this world would he believe any except God Himself, 
or who came with the authority of God by miraculous wonders, so 
that there should be no manner of doubt respecting his being of God, 
in all that could be seen and understood of his acts and words ; which 
should be, in origin and purpose, consistent with what was seen in 
the Son of God and His Saints ; so that there should be no room for 
doubt that they proceeded from God. And he daily and nightly 
prayed to God to obtain from Him by sight and hearing what he 
ought to believe. And he received through sight and hearing a power 
of understanding so evident that it could not be doubted that he 
obtained what he desired." 

The legend is printed from a MS. circa 1600, and is written in the 
bombastic Welsh much affected by the bardic fraternity at that time 
and later. 

S. CAIN, daughter of Caw, Virgin 

IN the lolo MSS. genealogies is given another S. Cain, who is said to 
have been a daughter of Caw, lord of Cwm Cawlwyd. 1 Her church, 
we are told, is in Ystrad Tywi, by which is intended Llangain, 2 below 
Carmarthen. Her name in these lists of Caw's children is also spelt 
Canna and Cannau, and once, when her three sisters, SS. Cywyllog, 
Peithian (Peillan), and Gwenafwy, are mentioned, her name occurs 
among the sons of Caw. The four sisters are credited with having 
had dedications in Anglesey. The Life of Gildas by the monk of 
Ruys also mentions Peteova, apparently Peithian. 3 It is possible 
that she may be the Candida, a Latin rendering of Cain, who is culted 
as a holy abbess at Scae'r in Finistere. But it has been also supposed 
that Candida is S. Nenoc, a reputed daughter of Brychan. So many 
of the family of Gildas settled in Armorica that it is not improbable 
one of his sisters may have gone there. 

1 Pp. 101, 109, 117, 139, 142-3. 

2 It is called Egliskein in a Charter Roll of 1247 printed in Daniel-Tyssen and 
Evans, Carmarthen Charters, p. 5. 

3 Ed. Hugh Williams, p. 326. 

56 Lives of the British Saints 

S. CAINNECH, or CENNECH, Abbot, Confessor 

THIS Saint's name does not occur in any of the pedigrees and lists 
of the Welsh Saints, except in the Myvyrian Bonedd, 1 a catalogue 
compiled by Lewis Morris, and therein the name is given, but without 
genealogical particulars. The name is variously spelt in Welsh Cennech, 
Cennych, and Cynnych. He is the patron of Llangennech, in Car- 
marthenshire, though some authorities, 2 quite erroneously, give the 
church as dedicated to S. Gwynog. We have his name probably 
also in S. Kennox, in Llawhaden parish, Pembrokeshire. 

There can exist no manner of doubt that Cennech is none other 
than the great S. Cainnech, better known in Ireland as S. Canice, 
and in Scotland as S. Kenneth. 

His Life is given, very incompletely, by the Bollandists, 3 with 
omission of many miracles and quaint stories, that not a little startled 
the editors. A complete Life is in the Codex Salamanticensis* and 
in the Liber Kilkenniensis so called, in Bishop Marsh's Library, 
Dublin. A Life compiled by Colgan exists in MS. in the Franciscan 
Convent, Dublin. No indication is afforded by which the date of 
composition of the Latin Lives is given, but they were certainly 
drawn up at a late period, as they abound in miracles and fabulous 
matter. Nevertheless, there is sufficient thread of historic material 
to enable us to draw out the true story of the Saint's life. 

Cainnech's father was named Laidech or Lugaidh, and he belonged 
to the Mac-ua-Dalann sept, from the North of Ireland. His mother's 
name was Mell or Melda. They lived in the modern barony of 
Keenaght, in Londonderry, and were needy persons, though of good 
birth. Cainnech had a brother named Nathi, and a sister named 
Columba. His birth occurred in or about 5i7- 5 He first saw the 
light at Glengiven in the valley of the Roe, county Londonderry. At 
that time his parents were destitute of even a cow, but when Cainnech 
was born, a cow that had recently calved came lowing to the door 
of their mud cabin, and they deemed that it had been specially sent 
from heaven to relieve their necessities. However, shortly after, a 
Bishop Luceth or Lyrech came to their door in quest of some stray 
cattle of his own, and he consented to baptize the child, and to leave 
the cow with them. 

As a child Cainnech was employed tending cattle, and had as his 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 422. 

2 E.g., Carlisle and Lewis in their Topographical Dictionaries of Wales. 

3 Ada SS., Oct. V. pp. 54-6. 

4 Ada SS. Hib. ex Cod. Sal., coll. 361-92. 
6 Chron. Scot., 516, corrected to 517. 

S. Cainnech 5 7 

companion a foster-brother, Teal Bretach, or Albus the Lyar, son 
of a petty chieftain. The differing dispositions of the lads showed 
early, for, whereas Teal fashioned toy spears and shields, Cainnech 
built doll-churches. Moreover, their stomachs differed in moral 
perception, for, whereas Teal ate indiscriminately stolen apples as 
well as others lawfully obtained, Cainnech was invariably sick after 
having partaken of the former. 

At an early age he was sent to Britain and was confided to S. Cadoc 
at Llancarfan, to be educated for the ecclesiastical profession. He 
was a docile, gentle boy, and Cadoc became warmly attached to him, 
so much so that the steward and others of the monastery became 
jealous and spiteful, and did their utmost to cross and inconvenience 

In the Life of S. Cadoc we are informed that he had two Irish pupils 
under him, Finnianand Macmoil, and the account of the Saint and 
his pupils in the Vita S. Cadoci agrees singularly with the narrative 
in the Vita S. Cannechi, without one being derived from the other. 
Probably the Macmoil of the Life of Cadoc is Cainnech, so called as 
the son of his mother Mel, Mac Mel. 

So prompt was Cainnech in his obedience, that once, when he was 
writing, he began the letter 0, when the bell sounded summoning the 
brethren to work in the fields, whereupon he sprang up and left the 
letter incomplete. We are told in the Life of S. Cadoc that he built 
a church for his pupil Macmoil, in Bedwellty, Monmouthshire. See 
further under S. MACMOIL. 

After he had become thoroughly instructed, Cainnech was ordained 
priest, and then went to the Continent, and made his way to Rome to 
the " limina apostolorum." On his way he made the acquaintance 
of a certain king we are not told whom and Cainnech incautiously 
promised to remain with him and end his days in that country. But no 
sooner had he made the promise than he repented of it, and how to 
get out of his undertaking puzzled him greatly. At last he hit on a 
device. He cut off the little toe of his right foot, and left that with the 
king in the certain country, and departed. In that land " the name 
of Cainnech, as learned men affirm, is held in high honour unto 
this day." He returned to Ireland, and went into the North to 
Assaroe of the Salmon's Leap, Ballyshannon, in Donegal. He visited 
and studied with S. Mobi Clairenach, along with SS. Ciaran, 
Comgall and Columba. He also visited Teal Bretach, his foster- 
brother, who was now a petty prince, and he urged him to renounce 
the world and give himself wholly to God. Teal Bretach, or Albus 
the Lyar, promised that he would do so, but, changing his mind, cut 

5 8 Lives of the British Saints 

off his little finger and gave that to God instead of his whole bodyj 
mind and soul taking a hint how to escape from strict observance 
of an undertaking from what Cainnech had himself done. 

One day Cainnech, Columcille, and Comgall were out when a storm 
of sleet and snow came down on them with a bitter blast. When 
it had passed, Columcille said, " My poor fellows who are out in a boat, 
I have been thinking of them." Comgall said, " I was thinking of 
my brethren in the hayfield." " The Son of the Virgin knows," 
said Cainnech, " that my mind all the while was with the angels in 

The two first showed the more generous minds, but the biographer 
did not think so. 

It is not our intention to give the Life of S. Cainnech at length, 
but we must say something further concerning him, for we are 
expressly told that he frequently visited Britain, 1 and that he also- 
crossed over the dorsal chain of mountains dividing Lancashire from 
Yorkshire, and Cheshire from Derby. 2 He probably was visiting 
the Britons of the small British kingdom of Elmet, enclosed on all 
sides by the Saxons. But we are not aware that he has left any trace 
of his presence there. He is, moreover, said to have settled near the 
roots of a mountain in Britain, which cut off the sun from him. An 
angel appeared to him, and volunteered to remove it for him, but 
Cainnech declined. In the following night, however, the Almighty 
laid hold of the mountain and tried to root it up, but Cainnech severely 
reproved Him, and insisted on His letting the mountain remain as 
it was. " But to this day, the mountain has a rent in it, as the learned 
assert, in token of the removal that would have taken place, unless 
prohibited by Cainnech." 3 

When crossing over the " backbone of Britain " there was much 
snow on the heights, and Cainnech lighted on a poor woman and her 
daughter half frozen, and the child all but dead. He had a fire lighted, 
and managed to revive them with heat and good food. 

Once, when on a journey, he put up at a convent during Lent, but 
the only provision supplied was fat bacon. Cainnech made the 
sign of the cross over it, and said, " We will take it as bread." Ac- 
cording to the biographer, the bacon was transformed into bread, 

1 " Frequenter in Brittaniam vadit." He was on one occasion in Britain 
for seven consecutive years. A eta SS. Hib. ex Cod. Sal., col. 370. 

2 " Quadam die (cum) S. Kannechus trans dorsum Britannic ambularet," etc.. 
Col. 372. 

3 " Deus vero, volens placere Kannecho, in sequent! nocte montem temptavit 
jacere : donee sanctus prohibens dixit, Exibo, exibo a loco isto ; montem autem 
nolo mutari usque ad diem judicie. Et sic factum est." Col. 372. 

i / r Clj 

T /.^ Drv/i/v-T 6 * / - ' 


. . . 

S. Cainnech 5 9 

but he candidly admits that after the meal what remained were 
bacon rinds and not bread crumbs. 

On a certain occasion a mother complained bitterly to him of the 
wilfulness and insubordination of her son. Cainnech had the boy 
taken and his feet fettered irTiron, and took him with him to Britain. 
On the way he threw the key of the fetter that fastened the lad's feet 
into the sea, and declared that the fellow should not have his freedom 
till the key was recovered. Afterwards, when the youth returned to 
Ireland, he managed somehow to rid himself of the fetters, and pre- 
tended that he had recovered the key from the belly of a fish. 

On a visit made by Cainnech to S. Columcille at lona, the two saints 
fell out. An Irishman named Tulcan had placed himself along with 
his little son in the monastery. Some of the monks complained to 
Columcille that Tulcan loved his son better than he loved God, and the 
abbot bade him take the boy to the top of a cliff and fling him over 
it into the sea. The heart-broken father obeyed. Happily, Cainnech 
at the time was returning from a neighbouring island in a boat, and 
managed to rescue the child. Going to Columcille he said, " From 
this time we are no more f riends,* because you gave too cruel a com- 
mand, and afflicted a miserable stranger." x 

One day Cainnech came to a rich man's house and saw there a 
wretched starved dog, all skin and bones. He inquired whose duty 
it was to attend to the dog, and the mistress of the house replied 
that it was hers. " Then," said S. Cainnech, " till the end of the 
year give your victuals to this dog, and do you eat only what was given 
to the poor brute." It is asserted that she obeyed him ; which may 
or may not have been the case. 

\Yalking in winter in the country of the Southern Hy Niall, he saw 
a cross with the snow capping it and resting on the arms. He inquired 
whose cross it was, and was informed that it was set up to Colmann 
MacDiarmid, King of Meath. Cainnech had known him; and had 
received favours from him. The saint went up to the cross, and 
leaning his head against it wept, and as he wept his tears melted the 
snow from the head and arms of the cross. 

There was good reason why the Saint should be unhappy for the 
fate of Colmann, and praj^ for his soul, for he had been a lawless and 
lustful prince, and had once carried away the sister of Bishop Aed 
MacBric, who had been a nun, and retained her in his fort near the 
hill of Uisneach, in West Meath. As Aed could effect nothing he 

1 " Ex hoc nunc amici non erimus, quia tarn crudele imperium precepisti, 
et miserum peregrinum afflixisti." Col. 374. 

60 Lives of the British Saints 

induced Cainnech to visit the king and induce him to surrender the 
unhappy girl, and Cainnech succeeded. 

Colmann Bee, son of Diarmid, King of Meath, was killed by Aedh 
MacAinmire, King of Ireland, at Bealachfeadha, in 587.! 

Cainnech was a good deal of his time in Meath and in Ossory. In 
the latter he was in good repute with the king, Colmann son of Fera- 
dach, who gave him grants of land and heaped benefits upon him. 
It was due to this prince that Cainnech obtained Aghaboe, the Field 
of the Ox, which became his principal monastery. The king's palace 
was at Kells. The city of Kilkenny takes its name from Cainnech, 
who had a cell there. Colmann belonged to an intrusive race of 
kings, and during his reign there were frequent revolts of the Ossorians 
under Maelgarbh and Maelodhar, of the ancient Ossorian regal family. 
On one occasion the insurgents surrounded and set fire to the fortress. 
Cainnech, hearing of the danger of his friend, hastened to the spot, 
rushed into the burning fort, and dragged the prince forth, and conveyed 
him to a place of safety. There those of his party rallied about him, 
and he took the field and routed the insurgents. 2 

In his old age Cainnech retreated to an island in Loch Cree, since 
drained, and there wrote a commentary on the Four Gospels, which 
was called the Glass Kinnich or Chain of Cainnech, long preserved 
in his church. 

S. Brendan of Clonfert was making a gold chalice for his altar, but 
ran short of the precious metal. So he went to Cainnech and asked 
if he could supply him with some gold. At the moment the abbot 
was sick, and pointing to the vomit, bade Brendan take that or nothing. 
The biographer gravely declares that what he had ejected from his 
stomach was instantly converted into pure gold. 

At Aghaboe, Cainnech is said to have written the life of S. Columcille. 
Finding his end approaching, Cainnech was unwilling to receive the 
Holy Eucharist from the hands of a certain priest of his monastery, 
who was engaged to administer it, because he was in expectation of 
the arrival of his friend S. Fintan, abbot of Clonenagh, and this latter 
arrived in time and communicated him. S. Cainnech died on October 
n, 598, according to the Annals of Ulster and those of the F our 
Masters, at the age of eighty-four. 

Next to SS. Brigid and Columba, if we may measure popularity 
by dedications, the favourite Irish Saint in Scotland was S. Kenneth. 
His name occurs in the Aberdeen Breviary on October 11. In the 
city of Kilkenny the feast of S. Canice is observed as a Double of the 

1 Ulster Annals, and Chron. Scottorum (corrected). 
* Colmann MacFeradach died 60 1. 

S. Cairnech 6 1 

First Class with an Octave. His name occurs in all the Irish Calendars 
and Martyrologies ; it is in Usuardus, and in Wilson's English Mart. ; 
Whytford also on October n, "In Scotland the feest of Saynt 
Canuke an abbot." He is in the Drummond Calendar, in that of 
Arbuthnot, etc. One great token of his popularity in Scotland is 
that he gave a name, Kenneth, to Kings of the Scottish race. A 
fair, now discontinued, used to be held at Llangennech on October 
I2th, Old Style, and latterly on the 23rd. 

For a brief account of the life and miracles of S. Cainnech, see 
Kelly, Cal. Ir. SS., 125, 138 sq. ; Forbes, Kal. Scott. SS., 295-7 ; 
Butler, Lives of the SS., x. 300 ; Lanigan, Eccl. Hist. Ir., ii, 188, 200 
sq. ; Trans. Soc. Antiq. Scot., iv, 300 sq.. with special reference to his 
connexion with S. Andrew's ; Reeves, Adamnan, 121, 220, and Eccl. 
Ant., 374 ; O' Conor, Rer. Rib. Scrip., iv, 125 ; Ware, Ir. Writ., 6, 27, 
and Ir. Ant., 137 ; Ulster Journ. Arch., ii, 7, 235, 242. 

S. CAIRNECH, Bishop, Confessor 

THIS saint is often confounded with Carannog, who in Irish is also 
called Cairnech. They, however, belonged to different parts of Ireland. 
Carannog was British by birth and Cairnech Irish. 

The authorities for his history are : 

1. A Life in Irish from the Book of Ballymote, printed with trans- 
lation by Todd and Herbert in the appendix to their edition of the 
Irish Nennius, Dublin, 1848, pp. 178-193. Mr. Herbert says in a note, 
" This legend is probably subsequent to A.D. 1092, when the primacy 
of the see of Lyons was decreed." What grounds he has for drawing 
this deduction we are at a loss to see. All the Life says about Lyons 
is that after an apocryphal Council held at Tours, Cairnech went 
on "to Lien in pilgrimage." There can, however, be very little 
doubt that the Life is late, probably of the twelfth century. 

2. The Tale of the Death of Muirchertach, or Murtogh Mac Erca, 
in the Yellow Book of Lecan, written in the fourteenth century, and 
another MS. about a century younger in the library of Trinity College, 
Dublin. This tale has been printed, with a translation by Mr. Whitley 
Stokes, in the Revue Celtique, xxiii (1902), pp. 195-438. Of this 
O 'Donovan, in his edition of the Annals of the Four Masters, gave a 
summary, i, p. 173, note b. 

In the Life from the Book of Ballymote Cairnech is confounded 
with Carannog. 

62 Lives of the British Saints 

Cairnech was the son of Saran, son of Coelchu, son of Tuathal, son 
of Fedhlim, son of Fiachra Cassan, King of Ulster in 236, 1 whereas 
Carannog was son of Corun, son of Ceredig, son of Cunedda Wledig, 
who expelled the Irish from Wales. 

Saran, the father of the saint, was king of Dal Araidh, and was an ob- 
stinate pagan. He is almost certainly the man who opposed S. Patrick 
Mac Calpurn when he visited Ulster. He is described in the Tripartite 
Life as son of Coelbad, instead of Coelchu. A curious story is told 
of this Saran. Owing to his opposition, Patrick had cursed him that 
he should never possess heaven. Somewhat later, after a raid, Saran 
brought a number of captives into his territory, and Bishop Olcan, 
moved with pity at the brutal way in which they were being treated, 
begged that they might be given to him. Saran replied that he would 
do so on one condition only, that Olcan should promise him heaven 
as his reward. Olcan did so. 

A short while after Patrick met Olcan and was furious with him for 
having promised heaven to the man to whom he had denied it. Olcan 
entreated forgiveness, and knelt to Patrick in token of submission. 
But Patrick in a towering rage ordered his charioteer to drive over 
the prostrate bishop. " I dare not," said the charioteer, " drive 
over a bishop." Whereupon Patrick cursed the driver soundly for 
being so scrupulous. 2 

Saran married Erca, daughter of Loarn, who along with his brothers 
Fergus and Aengus had been blessed by Patrick. They invaded 
Alba, and conquered Argyll ; Loarn gave his name to Lome. The 
latter became king there somewhat later, and reigned from 503 
to 513. Erca was, however, an unfaithful wife, and eloped with 
Muirdach, or Murtogh, son of Eoghain (d. 464) and grandson of 
Niallof the Nine Hostages (378-405). By Murtogh she became the 
mother of four sons, the most noted of whom was Murtogh Mac Erca, 
who was one of the most turbulent men of whom we read in Irish 
history. After the death of Murtogh, Erca was married to Fergus 
son of Conall Gulban (d. c. 464), another son of Niall, and by him also 
had four sons. 

Saran, as Erca had left him, married her sister Babona or Pompona, 
and became the father of Luirig, Bracan and S. Cairnech. According 
to the legend, Saran had extended his conquests into Britain, probably 
in alliance with his wife's uncles, Fergus and Aengus, and he was 
succeeded by his son Luirig. S. Cairnech also had come into Britain 
and established a monastery. 

1 Colgan, Acta SS. Hib., Mart., pp. 713, 783. 
Stokes, Tripartite Life, i, p. 167 ; Colgan, Trias Thaum., p. 147 

S. Cairnech 6 3 

Murtogh Mac Erca had committed a murder in Ireland. He had 

put to death some cross-bearers, probably because they had composed 

lampoons upon him. This had been a legal privilege of the bards, 

and the right seems to have been assumed and exercised by the 

crossans or cross-bearers in religious ceremonies of the Church. 

For this murder, Murtogh fled to Alba, where soon after, 513, he 

murdered his grandfather, Loarn. Fergus at once succeeded his 

brother (513-540) and drove Murtogh Mac Erca out of Alba. He 

now went into Britain, intending to do all the mischief he could there, 

and he asked his cousin S. Cairnech to bless his arms. Cairnech 

consented on one condition. Luirig, Cairnech's brother, had erected 

a fortress on the lands that Cairnech claimed as belonging to himself, 

and this the Saint resented with an implacable spirit. He would 

bless Murtogh's arms if he would remonstrate with his brother. To 

this Murtogh cheerily consented, and went to Luirig, who when he 

heard the message and Cairnech's threats, replied with a scoff, " I 

value his remonstrances no more than the bleating of his pet fawn." 

Murtogh, who was double-dealing as well as a ruffian, at once returned 

to the Saint and repeated these words. Cairnech flew into a fury, 

and promised heaven to Murtogh if he would kill his (Cairnech's) 

brother, and he prayed God that a fawn might be the means to this end. 

Cairnech then commanded Mac Erca to go and destroy his brother, 

and he (Murtogh) immediately took upon himself to fight him. And 

God worked a great miracle there for Cairnech, viz., he sent a wild 

fawn out of the mountain into the king's assembly, and the host 

all went in pursuit of it except the king himself and his women. Then 

said Mac Erca, " If you had been just, my lord, towards your cleric, 

it is certain that it would have given increase of happiness to wear 

the royal robe of Luirig." Then Mac Erca ran his spear into the 

king's side, and he returned to the cleric, and the head of the king 

with him, as a token ; and said, " Here is your brother's head for 

you, O Cairnech ! " Then said Cairnech, " Leave me the bone, and 

eat thou the marrow, and every third coarb shall be thine for ever, 

here and in Ireland." 

Then Murtogh Mac Erca took hostages and the (royal) power of the 
district into his own hands, conjointly with Cairnech, for seven years, 
as also the supreme sovereignty of Britain and Caithness, the Orkneys 
and the Saxonland. 

But it was not likely that a partnership cemented by such a mon- 
strous crime should last. Murtogh took the widow of Luirig (whom 
he had murdered), as his wife, and this seems to have given great 
offence to Cairnech. 

64 Lives of the British Saints 

By her Murtogh is said to have had, as sons, Constantine and 
Gaedhil Ficht, who remained to reign in Britain, and especially over 
the Cornish Britons, after Murtogh returned to Ireland. 

The Irish Annals give us these dates : 

Murtogh Mac Erca was fighting along with Illand and Ailil, sons 
of Dunlaing, against Aengus Mac Nadfraich, king of Leinster, and 
slew him and his wife in 489. 

Then we hear no more of him till 497 (498), when he was fighting 
his former confederate Illand. 

In 508 or 509 he was engaged in war with Duach, king of Connaught, 
and defeated and killed him. 

From 508 to 513 were years of anarchy in Ireland, but in the latter 
year Murtogh Mac Erca was chosen king, and he reigned till 533. 

Erca, mother of Murtogh, in her old age felt qualms of conscience 
at her past conduct, and she came to S. Cairnech, her stepson, in 
penitence, kneeling at every second ridge on her way, so it is said, till 
the blood oozed from her finger ends. Cairnech received her with 
these words : "I hail thee, Erca, and thou shalt go to heaven ; 
and one of every two worthy kings who shall reign over Ireland shall 
be of thy seed ; the best women and the best clerks shall be theirs ; 
success in battle shall be theirs also." 

From her eight sons she had received an extensive tract of land in 
fee-simple in Tir-Connell. She had also possession of Drumleen in 
Raphoe. All this territory she gave in atonement for her sins to 
S. Cairnech. Soon after she died, and S. Cairnech blessed the spot, and 
called it Kill-Erca, and placed S. Croidan, a bishop, in charge there. 

Murtogh Mac Erca was married to Duiseach, daughter of the King 
of Connaught, but he fell under the fascination of a beautiful girl called 
Sin. In 524 he had fought the men of Leinster, and in the battle had 
killed Sigh, son of Dian and his sons ; but the daughter of Sigh, Sin, 
he took to himself, and she employed all her blandishments to gain 
his love. She was successful, and he banished his wife, who took 
refuge with S. Cairnech, and was joined by the Hy Conaill and the 
Hy Eoghain. But Murtogh, by a cession of a church in his fortress, 
and by making confession and receiving communion, appeased Cairnech. 

Soon after, at night, Sin, who all this while had nursed her hatred 
of the man into whose arms she had cast herself, had quietly waited 
her opportunity, which occurred on Samhain, All Hallow E'en, a time 
of great revelry. The king was at Cletty on the Boyne. Sin made 
him dead drunk, and summoned to her aid Tuathal Maelgarb, great- 
grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, who surrounded the hall, 
and set it on fire. Murtogh was aroused when the fire had caught his 

S. Cairnech 

garments, and in an agony of pain plunged into a vat of wine to 
extinguish the flames, and so perished. 

Cairnech now came to the burned fortress to carry off the body of 
Murtogh and bury it. The story says at Dulane, but this is because 
the two saints are confounded ; or it may have been that the clerics 
of Dulane took away the body, and this has been attributed to the 
other Cairnech, whose church was not at Tuilen or Dulane but at 
Drumleen on Lough Foyle far away in the North. Sin seems also to 
have been burnt, for she had only time to make her confession before 
she died. 

" Touching Ca,irnech, he showed great care for Muirchertach's soul, 
but he did not bring it out of hell. Howbeit he composed the prayer 
which from its beginning is named Parce mini Domine, etc., and he 
repeated it continually for the sake of the soul of the king, so that at 
last the soul was given to him out of hell." 

The hymn Parce Domine is attributed to S. Meugant. This may 
have been different. It has not been preserved in the Liber Hymn- 
orum. 1 

The rest of the story in the Book of Ballymote is a farrago of non- 
sense. A great synod assembled at Tours, consisting of 337 bishops 
" with the coarb of Peter," to meet Cairnech, Bishop of Tours and 
Britain-Corijm, or Cornwall, and of all the British ; " and the chief- 
tainship of the martyrs of the world was given to Cairnech, because 
martyrdom was his own choice." 

The mention of the Pope at Tours was suggested to the writer by 
the presence of Urban II at the Council of Tours in 1096, or by that 
of Alexander III at Tours in 1163. 

After the Council, Cairnech, attended by thrice fifty bishops, goes 
off on pilgrimage to Lyons, " for the sake of Mac Erca and Murtogh." 
The story goes on to say that Cairnech was the first Bishop of the 
Clan Niall and of Temhar (Tara) and the first martyr of Erin. But 
it gives no details whatever. 

S. Cairnech's day is March 28 ; he is given as a bishop on this day 
in the Martyrology of Tallagh, and in that of Marianus 'Gorman, 
and that of Donegal. In none of these is the place named where 
he was bishop. 

Colgan supposed that Cairnech died about the year 530, and this 
he attempts to establish by showing that Fergus, son of Murtogh, 
possessed Cruachan's farm after Cairnech had been dead twenty 

1 All the portion of the story that concerns the death of Murtogh Mac Erca 
is from the tale in the Yellow Book of Lecan. 


T u*rt*/v* * "vv~[ 



Lives of the British Saints 

years. Now Fergus died in 561, according to the Annals of the Four 
Masters. 9 

Under the name of Carnocus Episcopus Culdaeus he is given by 
David Camerarius on June 15, and he had a church on the Haugh 
of Laithers opposite the Boat of Magie in the parish of Turriff in 
Aberdeenshire, now in complete ruin. 

It will be seen that the spheres of work of Carannog and Cairnech 
were totally distinct. The former laboured in Leinster, and the latter 
in Ulster ; the former had his church on the Boyne at Tuilen or Dulane, ' 
and the latter on Lough Foyle at Drumleen ; they both belonged 
to the first half of the sixth century ; and it was solely due to the 
late period at which their legends were drawn up that they came to 
be confounded together. 

Niall of the Nine Hostages, 
K. I. 379-405. 

Loarn, K. of 
c. 503-508 

killed by Murtogh 
Mac Erca. 


d. c. 4 

= Murtogh = 
2nd hus- 

in, Conall Gulban, 
64. d. c. 464. 


2nd wife. 


= Saran = Erca = 
ist husband, 
K. Oriel. 


= Fergus, 
3rd husband 
of Erca. 

K. in Britain, 
murdered by 
Murtogh Mac 
Erca, at the 
instigation of 
S. Cairnech. 

S. Cairnech, 
d. c. 545. 

Murtogh Mac Erca, Fedlimid. 
K.I. 513-533. 
= widow of Luirig. 

Fergus, Domnall, S. Colum Cill, Ab. 
Kings of Ireland, Hi, d. 597. 

Cairnech's " Misach," apparently a Calendar, was given by him to 
be one of the relics to be carried in battle before the warriors of the 
Clan Conall and Clan Eoghain, descended from Niall of the Nine 
Hostages, 1 " That whenever they had not the leadership or the king- 
ship of Ireland, their power should be over every province around 
them ; and that they should have the succession of Ely (in the barony 
of Inishowen) and Tara and Ulaid (Ulster) ; and that they should 
take no wage from anyone, for this is their own inherent right, the 
kingship of Ireland ; and that they should be without fetter or 
hostage, and that rottenness should befall the hostages when they 
abscond ; and that they should gain victory in battle, if the cause 

1 " The Death of Muirchertach Mac Erca," in Revue Celtique, xxiii (1902), p. 405. 

S. Cammab 67 

were just ; and that they should have three standards, namely, the 
Cathach and the Bell of Patrick, and the Misach Cairnech, and that 
the grace of all these reliquaries should be on (any) one of them 
in battle." 

The case of the Misach of Cairnech is now in the College of S. 
Coliimba, near Dublin. 1 

S. CALLWEN, Virgin 

IN a South Wales calendar 2 occur SS. Callwen and Gwenfyl, 
daughters of Brychan, with festival on November i. The name of 
neither is met with in any of the saintly pedigrees, but they possibly 
belonged to the Brychan clan. To the former is dedicated the church 
of Callwen, otherwise known as Capel Callwen, in Brecknockshire, at 
one time a chapel in the parish of Devynock, the church of which is 
dedicated to Brychan 's eldest son, Cynog. Edward Lhuyd gives us 
to understand that the parish church of Cellan, in Cardiganshire, 
which he writes " Keth-Lhan," is dedicated to her, and that there is a 
spring there called " Ffynnon Calhwen." All Saints is the dedication 
now usually given to the church. On one of the mountains in the 
parish is a cistvaen called Bedd y Forwyn, the Virgin's Grave. 


His name occurs only in the alphabetical bonedd in the Myvyrian 
Archaiology, 3 inserted on the authority of a MS. written between 
1578 and 1609. He is said to have been a son of Gwynllyw Filwr, and 
a brother of S. Cadoc. Nothing is known of him ; in fact, the name, 
as also Cammarch and Cannen, in all probability represents a mis- 
reading of the Kemmeu (read Kenmeu) of the bonedd in Peniarth MS. 
16, obviously, as Mr. Phillimore points out, a copy of some very old 
form of Cynfyw (ab Gwynllyw). See under that name. 

1 Reeves, Columba, pp. 328-9. 2 Denominated S. 3 P. 423. 

68 Lives of the British Saints 

S. CAMMARCH, Confessor 

His name occurs once in the lolo MSS. 1 pedigrees, and in the 
Myvyrian alphabetical bonedd. 2 He is given as a son of Gwynllyw 
Filwr. His festival is October 8, which is entered in the calendars in 
the lolo MSS. and the Welsh Prymer of 1633, and by Nicolas Ros- 
carrock, as well as in a number of Welsh almanacks, principally of 
the eighteenth century. He is the accredited patron of Llangam- 
march, in Brecknockshire, though in Can Tyssilio, by the twelfth 
century bard Cynddelw, the church is enumerated among the Tyssilio 
foundations. 3 The Tyssilio dedication is confirmed by the fact that 
in the Lives of that saint preserved in Brittany he is said to have 
spent some time in the region of Buellt, in which cantred Llangam- 
march is situate. The river Cammarch joins the Irfon close to the 
church, and the church may, as is often the case, have taken its name 
from the river. But streams in Wales frequently bear men's names ; 
for instance, the Beuno (or Bennio), Cybi, and Dewi the last at Myd- 
rim of which the church is dedicated to S. David. See, however, 
under S. CAMMAB. 

The word cammarch, which literally means a crooked horse, has 
been quite recently introduced into Welsh to signify the camel. S. 
Cynog ab Brychan, it appears, was nicknamed cammarch, and it is 
curious that his festival should be also October 8. 


THE Church of Whitechurch Canonicorum, in Dorsetshire, is named 
in King Alfred's will, about 900, as Hwitan Cyrcian. In it is the 
shrine of S. White or S. Wita, still containing her bones. She is called 
Wite in the inscription on her reliquary, and also in the Charter of 
Sir Robert de Mandevil by which he gave Berehayes to " St. Wita 
or to the church of Whitechurch " about the year 1220. She is also 
called " White " in the will of Robert Pyke (April 2, 1531), who desired 
that his body should be buried in the chancell of " Saincte White of 
Whitechurch," and left 6s. 8d. to the church of " Sancte White." 
On the other hand she is called " Candida" by John Belde (1505) and 
John Towker (1521), both of whom bequeathed their bodies to be 
buried in " the Church of St. Candida the Virgin." Thus only at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century was a substitution made of Candida, 

1 P- X 3- z Myv. Arch., p. 422. 3 Ibid., p. 179. 

S. Canna 6 9 

the Virgin, in the Roman Martyrology, for White of local celebrity. 
Under S. GWEN TEIRBRON will be shown that the S. White of White- 
church is probably that Saint, the mother of S. Winwaloe and others. 
There was a S. Ninocha Gwengastel, a native of Wales, who in 
Brittany received a cult at Scaer as S. Candida, but she was an abbess, 
and entirely distinct from Gwen Teirbron. 

S. CANNA, Matron 

CANNA was the daughter of Tewdwr Mawr or Tewdwr Llydaw, son 
of Emyr Llydaw. 1 She first married S. Sadwrn, her kinsman, who 
by her became the father of S. Crallo. They accompanied S. Cadfan to 
Britain. After the death of Sadwrn, she married Alltu Redegog, 
and had by him S. Elian Geimiad, the friend of S. Cybi. She was 
the mother also by him of S. Tegfan. She is supposed to have 
been the foundress of Llanganna, or Llangan, in Glamorganshire, where 
so many of the family of Emyr settled, and of Llangan in Car- 
marthenshire. In the vestry of Beaumaris Church is an altar tomb 
of the fifteenth century moved from Penmon at the dissolution. 
On the sides are representations of several of the local saints ; one of 
the figures is of a knight in armour giving benediction with his right 
hand, possibly intended for Sadwrn, who was designated Marchog, or 
the Knight, and next to it is that of a crowned lady, the crown above a 
monastic veil, and holding in her hand a staff bursting into leaf and 
flower. If the former be Sadwrn this latter is probably Canna. The 
symbol refers apparently to a lost legend like that of the mother of 
S. Ciaran that when the pangs of maternity came over her, she 
laid hold of a rowan that was dry, but which at once put forth leaves 
and berries ; or it may apply to a story that she planted her staff and it 
became a mighty tree. 

The inscribed stone of Sadwrn (or Saturninus) is in the neighbouring 
church of Llansadwrn (see S. SADWRN). 

Alltu is also said to have been married to S. Tegwen, daughter of 
Tewdrig ab Teithfall ; 2 but this is a mistake, Tegwen for Cenaf (or 
Cenau) being due to confusing S. Tegfan with his mother. 

At the Carmarthenshire Llangan (part of which parish is in Pem- 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 112, 132, 134, 221. In the bonedds in Peniarth MS. 45 and 
Hafod MS. 16 the name of the mother of SS. Elian and Tegfan is written, with 
the conjunction a, as athecnaw and a chenaf. 

2 Ibid., pp. 118, 137. 


Lives of the British Saints 

brokeshire) there is a rude stone, forming a kind of chair, which is 
known as S. Canna's Chair. It lies in a field adjoining the churchyard, 
about thirty or forty yards from it, and not far from Ffynnon Ganna, 
the Saint's Holy Well. It is a granite block, rough on its outside, 
but with the scooping or seat quite smooth. There is an inscrip- 
tion on it, supposed to read CANNA, in Roman capitals of so late a 


character that its genuineness is doubtful. Miraculous cures were 
affirmed to have been effected here, particularly in the case of persons 
troubled with the ague and intestinal complaints. The patient was 
first required to throw some pins into the well. Then he was to 
drink a fixed quantity of the water, and sometimes bathe in the well, 
but the bath was not always resorted to. After this he was to sit in 
the chair for a certain length of time, and if he could manage to sleep 
under these circumstances, the curative effects of the operation were 
considerably increased. This process was continued for some days, 
even for a fortnight or longer. The well has disappeared since about 
the year 1840. It was asserted that the hollow in the stone had 
been produced by the multitude and frequency of the devotees. 1 

About the centre of the parish is a field called Pare y Fynwent 
(the churchyard field), where, the local tradition says, the church was 

1 Arch. Camb., 1872, pp. 235-9 (chair illustrated) ; 1875, pp. 376, 409 ; West- 
wood, Lapidarium W allies, p. 89 (illustration). 

From a Fifteenth-century Tomb at Beaumaris. 

S. Cannen 7 1 

to have been originally built ; but the stones brought to the spot during 
the day were removed at night by invisible means to the site of the 
present church, and a voice could be heard crying, " Llangan, dyma'r 
fan" (" Llangan, this is the spot"). 

The Glamorganshire Llangan adjoins Llangrallo, now generally 
known as Coychurch. There is a stream there called Canna. 

Canna enters also into Canton, now a parish name, a populous 
hamlet in the parish of Llandaff , forming the western suburb of Cardiff. 
It was called by the Welsh Treganna, and its northern part is known 
as Pont Canna. Canna's (or Canons') Farm is in the parish of Llan- 

Her festival does not occur in any of the Welsh calendars. Browne 
Willis gives October 25 as the festival at Llangan, Glamorganshire. 1 

Canna occurs also as a man's name, 2 and two documents 3 give 
Canna as a daughter of Caw ; but see under S. CAIN, daughter of Caw. 

Mr. Egerton Phillimore is inclined to believe that the correct and 
original name of the mother of SS. Elian and Tegfan was Cenaf, and 
that there is no ground for ascribing either of the Llangan churches 
to her, but that there is good reason for thinking that the Glamorgan 
church name, as also the Cardiff Canna names, are from Cannou 
(becoming later Canneu, Cannau, and Canna), the cleric who witnesses 
a document in conjunction with SS. David, Teilo, Illtyd, Aidan, and 
Cynidr in the Life of S. Cadoc* 

S. CANNEN, Confessor 

THERE is considerable confusion in the genealogical details given of 
this Welsh Saint. Sometimes he is given the details which properly 
belong to S. Catwg, being made to be son of Gwynllyw (or Gwynllew) 
ab Glywys, of Llangadwg in Gwent, as in Peniarth MS. 12 (early 
fourteenth century) and Harleian MS. 4181. 5 In these Catwg is 
left out. A " Kemmeu Sant " is given as brother of Catwg in 
Peniarth MS. 16 (thirteenth century), but in Peniarth MS. 45 
(thirteenth century) he is omitted, Catwg alone occurs. In the 

1 Survey of Llandaff, 1719, appendix, p. 4. 

2 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 174. * lolo MSS., pp. 109, 142. 
* Owen, Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 427. 

5 Cambro-British Saints, p. 267. This is a copy made before 1714 of a MS. 
about 100 years earlier. 

72 Lives of the British Saints 

bonedd in Ha/od MS. 16 {circa 1400) we have Cannen Sant entered 
as son of Gwyddllew ab Gwynllew ab Glywys, and connected with 
Llangadwg in Gwent, but Catwg is here again missing. The document 
in the lolo MSS. 1 misreads his name as Canneu or Cannau, and he is 
entered as son of Gwyddlyw ab Gwynllyw, whilst in another we have 
Cannen a daughter of Gwyddlew ab Gwynllyw. 2 The former credits 
him with being the patron of Llangannau, in Glamorganshire, by 
which, it would appear, is meant Llangan, which occurs sometimes 
written as Llanganney and Llangane. 3 

It looks as if by Cannen were meant the Kemmeu of Peniarth MS. 
16 (see under S, CAMMAB), or that he was the son of Catwg's brother 
Gwyddlew or Gwyddlyw. 

The patron of Llanganten, in Brecknockshire, is variously said to be 
Canten and Cannen. 4 It can be Cannen only on the supposition that 
it is a later form of the name, but the survival of the Canten pronun- 
ciation is against it. In the Taxatio of 1291 5 it occurs as " Langanten. " 

S. CARADEC (CARTHACH), Abbot, Bishop, Confessor 

THIS Saint would not have been included in our collection but 
that he has been confounded in a most strange manner with S. Caran- 

In Brittany there are two sets of foundations, those of Carannog, at 
Carantec and Tregarantec in Leon, and those of Caradoc, or Caradec, 
in the south of Cotes du Nord, and over the border, in Morbihan. 
Caradec cannot possibly be a corruption of Carannog, and two distinct 
personages are represented by these names, establishing churches in 
separate districts. 

Nevertheless, liturgically they have been confounded, and in the 
Breviary of Leon of 1516, and in the collection of Lives by Albert le 
Grand, the name of Carannog, or Carantoc, has been supplanted in the 
legend of his Life by that of Caradocus, the vernacular Caradec or 

1 P. 1 08. Cannou occurs as the name of one of the clerical witnesses to 
an agreement between S. Cadoc and Rhain ab Brychan, Cambro-British Saints. 
pp. 56, 96. 

2 P. 130. 8 Dr. Gwenogvryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 919. 

4 Myv. Arch., p. 422 ; Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 326; Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, 

P- 427. 

5 P. 274. 

S. Caradec 7 3 

Carreuc. A deed of 1289 mentions Mostoer-Caradec, and this was 
S. Caradec near Mur, on the Oust near Loudeac. 1 

There have been two treatises on S. Caradec : Oheix, " S. Caradec 
appartient il a laBretagne," in the Revue de Bretagne, Nantes, 1880 ; 
and De la Borderie, "Les deux Saints Caradec," in Melanges historiques, 
published by La Societe des Bibliophiles Bretons, T. ii, Nantes, 1883, 
but neither helps towards the discrimination between Caradoc and 
Carantoc. What adds to the difficulty is that Caradoc is commemo- 
rated in the Vannes Breviary on the same day as Carantoc in that of 
Leon, and that in the Leon Breviary Carantoc is called Caradoc. 

There is no Welsh Saint Caradog who can be intended by S. Cara- 
dec, or Carreuc, unless it were Caradog, son, or, more correctly, 
father of Ynyr Gwent, but we have no authority for supposing 
that he was a saint, no Welsh pedigrees give him as a saint, 
and if the father of Machu or S. Malo had settled in Brittany, and 
become an abbot there, it would certainly have been mentioned in 
the Lives of that saint. 

Setting aside this Caradog as inadmissible, we must look elsewhere, 
and we may perhaps find in Carthach the Elder, coarb of Ciaran of 
Saighir, the man known in the Diocese of Vannes and in that of S. 
Brieuc as Caradec. Caradog is the Welsh form of the Goidelic Carthach. 

Carthach the Elder has had no biographer, or at least no Life of 
him has come down to our days ; all that is known of him has been 
collected by Colgan in his Acta SS. Hibern. Mart, v, mainly from the 
Lives of Ciaran of Saighir, his master, and of Carthach the Younger, his 
pupil. Carthach .was the son, or, more probably, the grandson of 
Aengus MacNadfraich, King of Munster, who had driven the royal 
family of the Ossorians out of Ossory. 

When Aengus suffered Ciaran to establish a monastery at Saighir 
on the confines of Ossory, and to assume the ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
over Ossory, he must have done so with hesitation and under conditions, 
for Ciaran belonged to the expelled royal family. Although not 
stated, we may suspect that a condition imposed on Ciaran was that 
he should take Carthach, son or grandson of Aengus, as his pupil, and 
should undertake to make him his coarb, to. succeed him in the abbacy, 
so that eventually the ecclesiastical as well as the secular rule over 
Ossory should be in the hands of the intruders. 

Ciaran found Carthach a troublesome pupil. He carried on an 
amour with a damsel in the religious establishment of Liadhain the 
mother of Ciaran ; this was interrupted by a thunderbolt falling at 
the place of assignation, which so frightened the girl that she ran back 

r Oheix, " Les Saints inconnus," in Association Bretonne, 1880. 

74 Lives of the British Saints 

to Liadhain and confessed her fault. 1 Then Carthach got into an 
intrigue with another girl of the convent of Cuacha, the nurse of 
Ciaran, and when she became a mother by him, the scandal provoked 
Ciaran to insist on Carthach leaving Saighir for a while and sowing 
his wild oats abroad. 2 

According to the scholiast on the Felire of Oengus, when the babe 
was born the mother laid it in a tuft of rushes beside the road. S. 
Comgall, with his pupils, was passing along the highway when he heard 
the sobbing of the child, and he bade one of his disciples go to the 
spot and see what was there. The man kicked the rushes and dis- 
closed the babe, which he took up and tucked under his arm. 

" Where is the child ? " asked Comgall. " In my arm-pit," replied 
the brother. " That shall be its name," said the abbot ; " My lua (kick), 
son of Ocha (arm-pit)." Comgall took the child along with him and 
reared it ; and this is the celebrated S. Lugaidh, or Molua, who is com- 
memorated on August 4. 3 But the story does not agree with that given 
in the Life of S. Molua. In this latter, Sochte, an Ossorian, was the 
mother, by a Carthach son of Daigre of the Hy Fidgeinte who occupied 
Limerick. Molua was the youngest of three sons born to Carthach 
by Sochte, and so far from exposing him, Carthach brought him up 
at home. He was drunk for nine consecutive days from merely 
inhaling the breath of the child. It was not till much later, when 
Molua was grown up and approaching manhood, that S. Comgall 
took him as a pupil. 4 

It is, accordingly, clear that the scholiast blundered in making 
Molua the son of S. Carthach of Saighir. He mistook one Carthach 
for the other, his namesake. 

When Carthach was sent away from Saighir for his loose morals, he 
went to Gaul, where he remained for some years, but in what part we 
are not informed. He also visited Rome. 

It is possible that to this period may be attributed the foundations, 
of S. Caradec in Armorica. 

After some years he returned to Ireland. Ciaran was one day 
bathing, along with a Saint named Germanus, when the latter caught 
a fish. " That will do for dinner to-morrow," said Ciaran, " when I 
expect my old pupil to return to me." Next day Carthach arrived 
and was received with great joy. 

1 Acta SS. Hib. in Cod. Sal., 1888, coll., 814-5. 

2 " Carthach, Ciaran's pupil, was sent by Ciaran on his pilgrimage to Rome 
for having come into a woman's company, for it is to him that Molua MacOcha 
was a son." Filire of Oengus, ed. W. Stokes, p. Ix. 

3 Ibid. p. cxxviii. 

4 Acta SS. Hib. in Cod. Sal., coll., 814-5. 

S. Caradog 75 

It is supposed that Carthach was ordained by Ciaran, and perhaps 
consecrated bishop by him, and the Martyrology of Donegal says 
that on his deathbed, " Ciaran dedicated his congregation to God and 
to Carthach." He probably could do no other in accordance with an 
agreement with Aengus MacNadfraich, which would be enforced by 
Eochaidh, the son and successor in the kingdom of Munster. 

Carthach seems to have been for awhile in Kerry, and there took 
as his disciple the younger Carthach, afterwards founder of Lismore. 

The date of his death is not recorded, but it must have taken place 
somewhere about 580. 

The feast of S. Carthach in the Irish Martyrologies of Tallagh, 
Cashel, Donegal, Marianus O'Gorman, etc., is on March 5, the same 
day as that of his master S. Ciaran. 

But in Brittany on May 16, as he has been confounded with S. 
Carantoc (Missal of Vannes, 1530 ; Breviary of Vannes, 1586 ; Breviary 
of Leon, 1516 ; Missal of Leon, 1526). 

He is patron of S. Caradec Tregomel, near Guemene, and S. Caradec 
Hennebont, both in the diocese of Vannes ; of S. Caradec near Loudeac, 
and S. Carreuc, both in Cotes du Nord ; and he had chapels in Plouai, 
Morbihan, at Mellac and Pontaven. 

At S. Caradec near Loudeac is a statue representing him as an 
abbot, mitred and giving benediction, but without distinguishing 
symbol. He is invoked in the Litany of the Stowe Missal. 1 

S. CARADOG, Monk, Confessor 

His Life, probably abridged from the lost Life by Giraldus Cambrensis, 
was adopted by John of Tynemouth into his collection, and thence 
it was taken by Capgrave and printed in the Nova Legenda Anglice. 2 
Further information concerning him is obtained from the Itinerary 
of Wales by Giraldus, Bk. i, chap. xi. Caradog was a native of Brych- 
einiog, born of parents in a moderate position of life. He received a 
good education, and was sent to the Court of Rhys ab Tewdwr, King of 
South Wales (1077-93), where he was well received, as he was a skilled 
harper. Rhys committed to his charge a couple of harriers, the 
King's pets. One day by his neglect the dogs got away. The King 
was furious, swore at him and threatened him with mutilation. 

1 Warren, Liturgy of the Celtic Church, Oxford, 1881, pp. 238, 240. 

2 Nova Legenda Anglice, ed. Horstman, Oxford, 1893, i, pp. 167-173. Gir- 
aldus read the lost Life to the Pope. Its preface has been preserved in his 
Symbolum Electorum. 

76 Lives of the British Saints 

Thereupon Caradog replied : " If you value my long and laborious 
service so little, as your words imply, I will go and serve another 
master who values men higher than hounds." 

Breaking off the head of his lance, so as to convert the staff into 
a walking-stick, he departed, and joined with some others, betook 
himself to Llandaff. On the way they found a goat that had been 
transfixed with an arrow, and they skinned, roasted and ate it. 

On reaching Llandaff, Caradog was tonsured by the bishop, and 
served at the church there for a time. But after a while, desiring a 
quieter life, he went to Gower, and found the church of S. Cenydd 
abandoned. He built himself a habitation near the churchyard, 
and set to work to clear the ground. It took him three days before he 
could get the sacred edifice clear of the brambles and thorns that had 
invaded it. 1 

After having spent some time there, he became restless, and went 
off to Menevia, where he was advanced to the priesthood. 

Then he seceded to the isle of Ary (probably Barry Island, Llanrian), 
Pembrokeshire. He was not quite alone, he had some companions 
with him. But he did not obtain the quiet there that he desired, 
for Norwegian pirates landed and carried him and his comrades off. 
However, owing to currents and contrary winds, they could not get 
away, and fearing that they might run short of food, they set Caradog 
and his fellows on the island again. One night, so runs the story, Satan 
appeared to him and offered his menial services. " Get away with 
you," said the hermit, " I don't want your service in any way." 
Then the Evil One laid hold of his belt and purse, and cut capers and 
jeered at him. Caradog had some difficulty in ridding himself of so 
troublesome a guest, and in securing his belt and purse. The Satan 
in the story was doubtless one of his comrades who was tired of the 
solitary life, and had to be dismissed, and endeavoured to steal some 
of his master's property. At last the incursions of the Northmen 
became so frequent and so menacing, that Caradog was obliged to 
leave, and the Bishop of S. David's sent him to take charge of the 
cell founded by S. Ismael, now S. Issell's, Haroldston. But here also 
he was harassed. This time it was by the Flemings whom Henry I 

1 " Casa juxta cimiterium edificata, spinis ac tribulis non sine labore grand! 
locum purgans, vix post triduum ecclesiam introire valebat." The Book of 
Llan Ddv (p. 279) states that Bishop Herwald of Llandaff (died 1104) " ordained 
Caradog, a holy and religious man, to be a monk" in the church of Llangenydd. 
He may be the " magister Caratocus " of the Life of Elgar the Hermit, in 
the same book (pp. 1-5), who went to Bardsey to see the hermit " whether he 
were alive or dead," and wrote from his lips the story of his life. 

S. Caradog 7 7 

introduced, and to whom he gave up the district now termed " Little 
England beyond Wales." To make room for his Flemings, the Welsh 
were dispossessed, and driven out of the country. 

Caradog was specially troubled by one Richard Tankard, who- 
impounded his cattle and sheep. The wife of Tankard, however,, 
treated the holy man with much consideration, and often sent her 
youngest son Richard to him with provisions. Richard the Elder 
was governor of the Castle of Haverford. Giraldus says that the 
young boy so ingratiated himself in the eyes of the hermit, that Caradog 
often promised him, along with his blessing, that his brothers, who- 
were older than himself, should die before him, and that he would 
inherit the paternal possessions a promise not calculated to act 
wholesomely on the boy's mind. Once it happened that the young 
man was out hunting, when a violent storm of rain coming on, he 
turned for shelter to the hermit's cell. " Being unable to get his 
hounds together either by calling, coaxing or by offering them food, the 
holy man smiled, and making a gentle motion with his hand, brought 
them ah 1 to him immediately." 1 

The annoyance caus'ed by the elder Tankard ceased, as he was 
carried over the cliffs when out hunting a stag, which bounded into 
the sea and was followed by the hounds and the steed mounted by 
Tankard ; but this was after the death of the hermit whom he vexed. 
The elder brothers of young Richard having happily deceased, the 
young man came into all the inheritance of his father. 

Caradog died in the year 1124 at Haroldston S. Issell's. 2 

He had desired that his body should be conveyed to S. David's, 
but Tankard endeavoured to detain it. However, being unwell, 
and attributing this to his having gone against the last wishes of 
Caradog, he permitted it to be conveyed thither. As the corpse was 
being transported to S. David's, a storm of rain came on as the pro- 
cession was traversing the sands of Newgate ; when the bearers and 
the convoy escaped for shelter into a house. On coming forth they 
found that the silken pall that had covered the bier was not wet and 
was uninjured, and this was regarded as miraculous. 

A chapel, called Cradock's Chapel, was afterwards erected on the 
spot, and was subordinate to Roch, but it has disappeared, and 
some mounds only indicate the locality. 

The body was buried in S. David's Cathedral " in the left aisle,. 

1 Itin. Kamb., bk. i, ch. xi. 

His death, as Caradawc Vynach, is entered in the chronicle, Oes Gwrtheyrn 
(Oxf. Bnits, p. 405). 

78 Lives of the British Saints 

near the altar of the holy proto-martyr Stephen." His shrine is often 
mistaken for that of S. David. 1 

The site of Caradog's hermitage was probably near a place called 
Portfield, the common on which Haverfordwest races are held, 
as there is a well there, once noted, called Caradog's Well, 
round which, till a few years ago, a sort of Vanity Fair was held, 
where cakes were sold, and country games were performed. It was 
held on the Monday in Easter or Whitsun week. 2 

Giraldus Cambrensis endeavoured to get him canonized, 3 but 
failed, which he attributed to spite. 

Lawrenny Church is dedicated to Caradog. His day is April I3th 
according to Nicolas Roscarrock, but the I4th according to the Calendar 
in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv (early thirteenth century). 

He is one of the few Welsh Saints who lived after the close of the 
Age of the Saints. 

S. CARANNOG, Bishop, Confessor 

THERE is some uncertainty as to whose son Carannog was, whether 
he was son of Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig, or son of Corun ab Ceredig. 
According to the Progenies Keredic Regis de Keredigan,* at the end of the 
Cognatio de Brychan, in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv. (of the early thirteenth 
century) and his Vita in the same Collection, he was the son of Ceredig, 
and therefore brother of Corun. The genealogies in Harleian MS. 
4i8i, 5 Peniarth MS. I2, 6 Hafod MS. i6, 7 and the lolo MSS.,* give 
him as the son of Corun. 

It is always safest to adopt the fuller descent, as grandchildren are 
not infrequently entered as ab the grandfather. This has certainly 
taken place in the Brychan family. 

1 William of Malmesbury visited his shrine, and was in the act of cutting off 
one of the fingers when the saint suddenly withdrew his hand. It is said that 
the body on being removed some years after his death was found perfect and 
incorrupt. There is an illustration of the shrine in J. C. Wall, Shrines of the 
British Saints, p. 94, and also in P. A. Robson, 5. David's, Bell's Series, p. 55. 

2 Fenton, Pembrokeshire, 1811, pp. 144, 201. 

3 A letter of Innocent III, dated May 8, 1200, is extant, enjoining inquiry into 
the virtues and miracles of Caradog. Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., i, p. 412. 

4 Y Cymmrodor, xix, p. 27 ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 275. 

5 Cambro-British Saints, p. 265. 
8 Y Cymmrodor, vii, p. 133. 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 415, cf. p. 420. 

8 IoloMSS.,pp. no, 125. The name is mis-spelt here Corwn. It is from the 
.Latin Coronus. 

S. Carannog 7 9 

The authorities for the Life are : (i) A Vita Sancti Carantoci in the 
Cotton MS. Vespasian, A. xiv, which has been very inaccurately printed 
by Rees in the Lives of the Cambro-British Saints, Llandovery, 1853, pp. 
97-101. This Life is made up of two parts, (a) a Vita short and legend- 
ary, (/3) the commencement of another. The first is a homily on the 
festival, and begins " Veneranda est hec solempnitas omnibus homini- 
bus in Deo credentibus," and intimates that his pedigree could be 
traced back to Mary the Mother of our Lord. 1 It contains some 
interesting particulars : " In istis temporibus Scotti superauerunt 
Brittanniam ; nomina ducum quorum Briscus. Thuibaius. Machleius. 
Anpacus. xxx. annis ante natiuitatem Sancti Dauid filii Sant ; bene 
Carantocus susceptus est in Hibernia." 2 

This Life concludes with : " O vere vir beate, in quo dolus non fuit 
. . . qui manet sine macula cum gaudio et gloria inter angelorum 
agmina in secula seculorum. Amen." 4 

Then follows a fragment that begins : " Quodam tempore fuit 
vir, nomine Keredic, rex erat, et hie vir habuit multos filios." This 
gives the pedigree of Carannog up to Anna, who was the cousin of Mary 
the Virgin. Then comes an account of Cunedda and his sons, and of 
the subdivision of Wales among the sons. Then of a raid made by 
the " Scots " on Ceredigion, and the election of Carannog to head the 
people against them. This he refused to do, and ran away, having 
borrowed a staff and bag from a beggar and further disguised himself. 
To this follows his going to Guerit Carantauc, with nothing about his 
Irish expedition. And there the story breaks off abruptly. 

John of Tynemouth worked up the same material for his Life, and 
put the fragment into its proper position, before the departure to 
Ireland, Cotton MS. Tiberius, E. i. This is printed in Capgrave's 
Nova Legenda Anglicz. 

2. A second Vita is found in the Breviary of the Church of Leon, 
printed at Paris, 1516. Of this only two copies exist, one in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris ; and the other till recently in the 
Library of the Freres Lamennais at Ploermel. This has been re- 
printed by A. de la Borderie, Les deux Saints Caradec, Paris, 1883, 
and also in Y Cymmrodor, xv, pp. 97-9. It begins like the fragment 

1 The pedigree, and the tract relating to Cunedda and his sons, are copied, 
with some modifications, from the pedigrees and tract found in the Old- Welsh 
genealogies in HarleianMS. 3859. See Y Cymmrodor, ix, pp. 170, 182-3. 

2 The printed text is corrupt here. We give the correct reading of the MS. 
from Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 278. It is not the conquest of Britain by 
the Irish, as the printed text makes out, but the reception of Carannog in 
Ireland, which is thus dated thirty years before S. David's birth. 

8o Lives of the British Saints 

at the end of the Vita printed in the Cambro-British Saints, but with 
the change of the name from Carantocus to Caradocus. It omits the 
genealogy and the account of Cunedda and his sons. It then relates 
how that Ceredig was old and Caradocus was chosen to be King in 
his room, and how he ran away, borrowed a disguise from a beggar 
and went to Guerith Carantoc. Then " post multos autem dies " 
a voice from heaven summoned him to go to Ireland. 

This Life in the Leon Breviary is an early document, probably of 
the tenth century. It also is a mere fragment, and relates to the 
Acts of the Saint in Ireland, and says nothing further of his settlement 
at Guerith Carantoc, nothing of any visit to Armorica, and none of 
the extant fragmentary Lives relate his death. 

Leland (Itin., viii, p. 69) gives a brief extract from the Life of S. 
Carantoc, " Carantacus, films Roderici regis. Carantocus fuit in Hibernia 
30 annis ante nativitatem S. Danielis." This is clearly a corrupted 
paraphrase of the passage in the Cambro-British Saints, Keredic being 
altered into Roderici and Dauidis into Danielis. 

We will now take the legendary Life as pieced together from the 
material at our disposal. 

Ceredig was King in Ceredigion, from which had been expelled 
the Gwyddyl who had occupied the seaboard of Wales. In the 
names of the Irish chiefs who had held rule over the British we 
may perhaps recognize three, Thuibaius may be Dathi, 405-428 ; 
Anpacus may be Amalgaidh, d. 449 ; and Machleius may be Lugaidh 
MacLeoghair, 503-8. Mr. Phillimore is disposed to identify Briscus 
with Aed Brosc, son of Corath, son of Eochaid Allmuir, and Anpacus 
with Anlach, father of Brychan. 

Notwithstanding that Ceredig had established himself in Ceredigion, 
these latter made a descent on the coast, and attempted to recover 
their 'lost possessions. This may be the occasion when Ceredig, whom 
we equate with Coroticus, captured so many baptized Irish and held 
them in durance, calling forth the letter of S. Patrick in protest. 
This letter is supposed by Haddan and Stubbs to have been written 
and sent " shortly before 493 (?)." x 

As Ceredig was aged, and the incursions were frequent, the Bishop 
of the principality went to him, and said : " Thou art too old to fight, 
it is therefore well that one of thy sons should be appointed in thy 
room, and let that one be the eldest." To this he consented. Accord- 
ingly they appealed to Carannog to be their king and leader. But 
he, loving the Kingdom of Heaven above all earthly things, changed 

1 Councils and Eccl. Documents, ii, pt. ii, p. 314. 

S. Carannog 8 i 

clothes with a beggar, took his staff and wallet, ran away and took 
refuge at a place called Guerit Carantauc. 1 

This place, as appears, was Carhampton in Somersetshire. Carannog 
resided some time here. On arriving, he borrowed a spade from a 
poor man, wherewith to dig the ground. And he whittled at intervals, 
when tired of digging, the staff he had brought with him. 

Then he observed a wood pigeon fly out of the nearest grove, and 
carry off the shavings in its beak. He followed the bird, and found 
that it had dropped the chips in one particular spot. He determined 
on building a church there. And this was, as we are informed, the 
city of Carrov. 2 ~XA> i? v-wf" /vC- - -^*c-^-rv\/ <^-> < i/*ve-v*/ 

When running away from home, he had thrown his portable altar 
into the Severn Sea. It had been washed up, and Arthur, who with 
Cado ruled in those parts at the time, got hold of it, and resolved on 
converting it to secular uses. However, there was a dragon in the 
neighbourhood that created great depredation, and this monster 
Carannog subdued, and in return for the favour Arthur surrendered 
to him the altar, but with some reluctance. Arthur held his Court at 
the time in Dindraithou. This is probably the Dun Tradui, the three- 
fossed fortress erected by Crimthan Mor (366-378) to hold down the 
British, when he held dominion from Alba to the Ictian Sea (the 
English Channel). 3 This is spoken of by Cormac in his Old Irish 
Glossary. Cormac was King-Bishop of Cashel, born 831, and killed 
in battle 903. 

This Dun Tradui was apparently in Map Lethain , " in the lands 
of the Cornish Britons " (dind map Lethain i tirib Bretan Cornn). 4 

After having completed his church, placed in it his altar, and built the 
city called Carrov, 5 " in which innumerable persons were buried, whose 
names are not given," a voice came from heaven bidding him depart 
for Ireland, and assist S. Patrick in his missionary labours. 6 

The Life, or Homily, in the Cambro-British Saints says that after 
having lived some time in a cave called Edilu, reading the canonical 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 101 ; Brev. Leon, in Y Cymmrodor, xv, p. 97. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 99 ; cf. K. Meyer's correction of errors, Y Cym- 
mrodor, xiii, p. 84. But the correction is defective. 

3 " Deinde S. Servanus venit ad Icteum mare, quod distat inter Angliam 
et Franciam." ~ Vita S. Servani, Pinkerton's Lives of the Scottish Saints, ed. 
Metcalfe, ii, p. 123. 

4 Three Irish Glossaries, by W. S. (Stokes), London, 1862, pp. xlviii-ix, 29. 
Mr. Egerton Phillimore, in a note in Y Cymmrodor, xi, p. 90, accepts Dinn Tradui 
( = the Welsh Dindraethwy) as in Cornwall. It is not, however, clear in the 
context that it was so. It is the Cair Draitou of the Nennian Catalogue of Cities 
(Ibid., ix, p. 183). 

5 Cambro-British Saints, p. 100. 

' Brev. Leon, in Y Cymmrodor, xv, p. 97. 



82 Lives of the British Saints 

lessons in the Old and New Testaments, he went to Ireland, Patrick 
having preceded him ; that they met and conversed and decided to 
separate, one going to the left, the other to the right, " and Carantocus 
went to the right, but Patricius to the left, and decided to meet one 
another once in the year." Each had numerous clergy with him, 
" vel unusquisque pariter pretium- quod requireret sanitatem." x 

The author of the Homily goes on to say that Carannog went to 
Ireland thirty years before the birth of S. David. 

The sphere of his labours was " Legen," i.e., Leinster, " and the 
works of the blessed Cernach (the Irish form of his name) are" read in 
Ireland, throughout the country, as the miracles of the blessed apostle 
Peter are read at Rome." 

The Life in the Leon Breviary and the fragment at the end of the 
Homily say nothing about Carannog having been associated with 
S. Patrick. Moreover, he is not once mentioned in the Lives of 
S. Patrick, of any antiquity, not even in the Tripartite Life. Nor 
is he named in the lists of the household and fellow workers with 
Patrick. This seems conclusive evidence that Carannog did not 
co-operate with the Apostle as is represented in the Homily. 

There is, however, an Irish tradition that Carannog, whom they 
call Cairnech, was one of the three bishops who assisted in the com- 
pilation of the Senchus Mor, the other two being Patrick and Benignus. 
The story is to the effect that the people of Ireland, having embraced 
Christianity, the old laws no longer suited the new condition of affairs. 
Accordingly, Laoghaire, the high King, who was not himself a convert, 
and remained a pagan to his dying day, agreed to have the code 
revised by a commission of nine, three were to be kings, three Brehons 
or lawyers, and three Christian missionaries. 

The laws, bearing the title of Senchus Mor, or " Great Antiquity," 
were after the revision known as Cain Patreuc (" Patrick's Law "), and 
Noi-fis (" the Knowledge of Nine "). But none of the biographers of 
Patrick mention the circumstance, and it is most improbable that 
at such an early date the revision and adaptation should have been 
made. The authorities are as follows : 

The earliest is this 

Laeghaire, Core, Daire the hardy, 

Patrick, Benen, Cairnech the just, 

Rossa, Dubhthach, Ferghus, with science, 

These were the nine pillars of the Senchus Mor. 2 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 97. 

2 Ancient Laws of Ireland, 1865, i. preface xiii, p. 5. The earliest authority for 
this is Cormac's Glossary, under the word Nos. Cormac was slain in 903. 

Carannog 8 3 

The order is given differently elsewhere, Patrick and Benen and 
Cairnech, three bishops, being placed first. 1 

In the Commentary on the Senchus Mor it is stated expressly that 
it was Cairnech of Tuilen who took part in the composition. " Pat- 
rick and Benen, and Cairnech who is (buried) at Tuilen (Dulane), were 
they who wrote it in a chalk-book to preserve it for the men of 
Eire." 2 

In the Lebhar na h'Uidre is the story of Laoghaire's conversion and 
death, that maybe thus condensed : " There was a folk-mote of the 
men of-Tara in the time of Laoghaire, son of Niall. Now it is for this 
cause that he held the folk-mote, concerning the Faith. When the 
fulness of the Faith was settled with the men of Ireland, and when 
Patrick had preached the Gospel to them (and) Laoghaire with his 
Druids was vanquished in miracles and in mighty marvels wrought 
by Patrick before the men of Erin, then it was that Laoghaire believed 
and submitted to Patrick's full desire. 

" Proclamation was made by Laoghaire that the choice of the 
princes of the men of Erin should come into one place to hold a con- 
ference concerning the fitness of their usage and their justice." 

Then follows some fabulous matter, and the test is put to Patrick 
to see whether Patrick's conduct accorded with his teaching. The 
conversion of Laoghaire is contradicted by the best authorities. 

" So then the men of every art in Erin were gathered together, and 
each showed forth his crafts before Patrick and before the men of 
Ireland. So then their evil laws were cast forth and the proper ones 
were arranged. 

" Nine eminent persons were engaged in the arrangement, to wit, 
of the Church, Patrick and Benen and Cairnech, that is, three 
bishops ; Laoghaire, son of Niall, King of Ireland, Daire, King of 
Ulster, and Core, son of Lugaidh, King of Munster, the three kings ; 
Dubhthach Maccu Lugair, and Fergus the Poet, and Ros son of 
Trichem, a sage in the language of the Feni." 3 

In the Annals of the Four Masters the date of the compilation is 
given as A.D. 438. " These were the nine supporting props by whom 
this (work) was done : Laoghaire, Core, and Daire the three kings ; 
Patrick and Benen and Cairnech the three saints ; Ross, Dubhthach 
and Feargus the three antiquaries." 

The Annals were carried on to 1172, and were compiled by the j 

O'Clerys in the beginning of the seventeenth century. They drew 

1 Ancient Laws of Ireland, 1865, p. 17. 2 Ibid., p. 35. 

J Stokes, Tripartite Life, ii, pp. 562 et seq. Extract from the Lebhar na h'Uidre. 

84 Lives of the British Saints 

the information employed in the compilation from the above quoted 
authorities, and added the date arbitrarily. 

When we come to look at the statement, we see that it is open to 
the gravest suspicion. 

1. It is incredible that Carannog or Cairnech should have been 
associated with Patrick in so important a work, and that he should 
not be so much as named as an associate of Patrick in any of the 
most reliable Lives of S. Patrick. 

2. It is hardly to be conceived that if S. Patrick had undertaken 
a work of such supreme importance, the Lives should be silent on the 

3. Nor is it credible that at so early a date as the reign of Laoghaire 
the necessity for the revision of the laws, and their adaptation to the 
alteration in the religion of the people, should have become an urgent 

4. Core can hardly have been alive at the time. Core was the 
grandfather of Aengus MacNadfraich, King of Munster, who was 
converted by S. Patrick, and fell in battle 489. Some authorities 
throw Core back to 336-366, but this is certainly too early. The 
more probable date of his death was 430, which is incompatible with 
the statement that the Senchus Mor was drawn up in 438. 

The oldest authority for the succession of the kings of Munster is 
the Seaan Mor, a poem by O'Dubhagain, who died in 1372 ; in that 
he gives the order of the kings and the length of their reigns, from 
Oilioll Olum who died in 234, and this gives 399 as the date of Core's 
accession and 429 as that of his death. 

The next authority is the list in the Book of Ballymote, compiled in 
1391, which agrees with the above except in the matter of one year, and 
brings Core's death to 430. 

5. The earliest authority for the compilation, with the introduction 
of the name of Cairnech, is something like 450 years after it is supposed 
to have been made. 1 

6. It is extremely doubtful whether Cairnech, supposing him to 
have been son of Ceredig, to make him contemporary with S. Patrick, 
would have been a persona grata in Ireland, after Ceredig had incurred 
the resentment of the Irish by his raids and ill-treatment of his 
captives, as shown by Patrick's letter to Coroticus ; if we may take 
Coroticus to be Ceredig. 

1 In Cormac's Glossary, ed. W. Stokes, London, 1862, pp. 31-2 ; Tripartite 
Life, Append, ii, p. 570. Mr. O'Curry strives to sustain the tradition in his 
Lectures on the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, London, 1873, ii> 
pp. 66-8. 

S. Carannog 8 5 

We come now to a series of incidents narrated in the Leon Breviary, 
of which no trace is found in the Homily or the fragment that follows it. 

Whilst Carannog was in Ireland, he encountered a King called 
Dulcemius, by whom Dunlang, King of Leinster (died at end of fifth 
century) is probably meant. Dulcemius had a tree that Carannog 
coveted, and he asked the King for it, and was refused. However, 
as the tree was shortly after blown down, it was granted to him, and 
he cut it up into four " bases." He had engaged a famous architect 
to build his church for him, and now he got across with the man over 
the wood. 

Some religious personages having visited Carannog, as he was 
short of firewood and the weather was chilly, he chopped off a portion 
of one of the bases for his hearth. The architect was furious, and 
vowed that he would throw up the job. The legend says that the 
base was miraculously restored. The truth probably was that the 
architect was mollified and consented to make shift with the mutilated 

At this time there lived in Ireland a saint named Tenenan, who 
was a leper. No saint of the name is known in Irish hagiology, but 
there were, however, several of the name of Ternoc, of which Tenenan 
is but another form. And we find the disciple of Carannog called 
Ternoc as well as Tenenan. 

When Tenenan came to visit Carannog, the latter prepared for him 
a hot bath. Tenenan declined it. 

" Unless you tub," said Carannog, " you shall not enter into eternal 
life." i 

Accordingly Tenenan got into the water, whereupon Carannog 
began to scour him, and he was healed of his cutaneous disorder. 2 

Then said Tenenan, " You have served me a scurvy trick. It's 
conceited I shall be with my lovely skin." 

" Nay," replied Carannog, " you will be a beauty, and your skin 
will no longer present a disgusting appearance." 3 

When Tenenan left the bath, " Now it is your turn, in with you," 
said he. Whether he had changed the water we are not informed. 
Carannog declined to enter, but was finally persuaded to do so. And 
it was so, that Carannog wore seven iron belts round his body, next 

1 " Si non intraveris, non vives in vita eterna." 

2 " Cum hoc audisset Tenenanus coactus intravit balneum : accedebat 
iterum Karadocus ut lavaret eum. Animadvertens igitur Tenenanus quoniam 
ad se abluendum accederet dixit : Non lavabis me in eternum. Respondit 
Karadocus : Nee tu vives in eternum si non lavero te." 

3 " Nequaquam, ille ait : sed pulchrior eris, et tua caro non erit fetida." 

86 Lives of the British Saints 

his skin, and as he stepped into the bath, and Tenenan touched him, 
they snapped and fell off. 1 

" Now you have played me a scurvy trick," said Carannog ; " how- 
ever, these bands can be easily ri vetted again." 

" Not if all the blacksmiths were to try, would they succeed," 
retorted Tenenan. 

After this they praised God, and made fellowship. 2 

Such is the story in the Leon Breviary. It ends abruptly there. 
But Albert le Grand, in his Life of S. Tenenan, has a very different 
version of the relations of Carannog and Tenenan. According to 
him, and he derived his information from the lost Breviary or Legend- 
arium of Folgoet, Tenenan was the son of an Irish king named Tinidor, 
and he was placed at an early age with " Caradocus or Carantec," 
and was educated by him till he reached the age of thirteen, when 
he returned to his parents, and was sent by them to the Court of the 
King in London ! ! There he was so handsome that the young ladies 
fell in love with him. 

But having resolved on abandoning the world, he prayed to God, 
and in answer to his prayer became a leper. The ladies now turned 
their eyes from him in disgust, and in this condition he returned 
to his parents. They were greatly distressed, and sent him to S. 
Carannog, who put him in a bath and healed him. After that, Tenenan 
abjured the pleasures of life, and practised extraordinary austerities. 

An angel appeared to him, and bade him quit Ireland. So he 
went again to Carannog, and consulted him about the matter, and 
by the advice of his old master, departed along with S. Senan and 
S. Ciaran for Armorica, and disembarked in the estuary of the Elorn, 
settled near Landerneau (Lann-Ternoc), and afterwards founded 
another church at Plebennec. 

On the death of S. Goulven, he was raised to the episcopal throne 
of Leon, and died about 623. 

In the Leon Breviary Tenenan is not a disciple, but a contemporary 
saint. " In illis diebus quidam Sanctus in Hybernia nomine Tenenanus, 
et hie erat leprosus." 

After Carannog had laboured hard in Ireland, healing many thousands 
of their maladies, and performing prodigies innumerable, he returned 
to his native land, and there retired " to his cave " in Ceredigion, and 
founded the Church of Llangranog. 

" Habebat enim Karadocus septem cingula ferrea circa se, et mox ubi 
tetigit ea Tenenanus fracta sunt omnia." 

2 " Et post hec verba laudaverunt deum et facta est pax et unitas inter 
ipsos. ' ' 

Car anno g 8 7 

That Carannog was for a while in Ireland, though not at the time of 
Patrick, appears from his having been regarded as patron of Dulane 
in the county of Meath, where are the remains of his very rude and 
primitive church, composed of huge blocks of stone. There he seems 
to have left a colony of British monks. 

In one of the topographical poems of O'Dubhagain, written in the 
fourteenth century, there is an allusion to three septs that occupied 
the neighbourhood of Dulane ; one of these was the sept of "the Britons 
of lasting fame." 

Early these men quaff their metheglin, 
They are the congregation of Cairnech. 1 

After having remained awhile at Llangranog, he again threw his 
portable altar into the sea, and returned to his old foundation of Carrov, 
near the mouth of the Guellit, at which last point the altar was 
washed up. 

The name of this stream, which enters the Bristol Channel a mile 
east of Watchet, is still preserved in that of Williton village and parish, 
close to its mouth, and in Willet Ford and Willet, close to its source. 2 
The mouth of the Willet brook is four miles east of Carhampton, 
and about six miles east of Marsh Farm, where the chapel of S. 
Carantock anciently stood, and which was there before the erection 
of the parish church. When Carannog came to Cornwall and founded 
there the important church that now bears his name, and which was 
formerly provided with canons, we do not know. But Carhampton 
would seem to have been his principal monastic settlement. 

Here he remained till a voice came from heaven calling him to depart 
to his rest. The Homily makes great confusion here. " A voice came 
to him from heaven, and bade him go into exile, and leave his family 
. . . and he alone went to the island Hibernia, and was buried on 
the I7th Cal. June in his illustrious city, the best of all his cities, 
which is called the city of Chernach. And he departed in peace, 
and left his peace behind and found it." 

His city of Chernach is not Dulane but Carhampton in Somerset or 
Crantock in Cornwall, and his departure for Ireland took place at an 
earlier period. That he went at one time to Armorica can hardly be 
disputed in face of the distinct traces he has left there. But when he 
was there we do not know. 

Carhampton is a mile and a half from Dunster. The church passed 

1 Irish Arch&ological and Celtic Soc., 1862, pp. 14-15. 

2 See Birch, Cart. Sax., iii, p. 76, and Mr. Phillimore's identification in the note 
on Llangranog in Owen's Pembrokeshire, pt. iv. 

88 Lives of the British Saints 

into the possession of Bath Abbey, where his festival was observed on 
May I6. 1 

The only hint we have as to the period when Carannog was in Brittany 
is found in the Life of S. Guenael. This latter had been in Britain, 
and returned to Armorica laden with books, and attended by forty 
disciples ; when one of the first things he did on landing was to pay 
a visit to S. Carannog ; and the date of the return of Guenael can be 
determined pretty nearly as occurring in 546. 

S. Carannog has an extended cult in Brittany. A parish in Finistere 
bears his name, Carantec. And his name recurs in Tregarantec 
(Tref-Carantoc) in Leon, of which his disciple Tenenan is patron. 

The Treguier MS. Breviary of the fifteenth century gives him, as 
S. Caranaucus, on May 16. But he has been confounded with 
Caradec (Carthagh), patron of a church near Loudeac, and of S. 
Caradec Priziac and S. Careuc. 

Caradocus, in Irish Carthagh, is derived from the past participle, 
whereas Carantocus or Carannog is from the present participle. 
Carthagh, disciple of S. Ciaran, may have been in Brittany and 
have made a foundation there. The Leon Breviary of 1516 calls 
him Caradocus, but gives lections from the Life of Carantocus. The 
lections in this breviary make Caradocus the son of Ceredig, and the 
legend begins precisely like that portion of the Vita S. Camntoci 
tacked on at the end of the Life in the Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv. 

The commemoration of S. Caradoc is on May 16, the day of S. Caran- 
nog. We can hardly allow that the Caradec of Caradec Priziac and 
Caradec Loudeac and of S. Careuc, is Carantoc, but we may attribute 
to him the church of S. Carne, near Dinan. 

The day of S. Carannog in Wales is May 16. In the Calendar in 
Allwydd Paradwys (1670) and the Demetian Calendar it is given 
on May 15, and in that in Peniarth MS. 187 on May 17, but in his 
Life in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv, in the lolo MSS. Calendar, the 
Prymer of 1633, and a number of the Almanacks of the eighteenth 
century, as May 16. The fair at Llangranog was on the last- 
named day, Old Style, and still is on the 27th, New Style. 
As already said, it occurs on the same day in the Bath Calen- 
dar, also in the Exeter Legendarium, and in the Altemps Martyrology 
of the thirteenth century. Also in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice, 
and in Whytford. " In Yreland the feest of Saynt Carantoke y*. is 
also called Saynt Cernach, a kygs sone of Englonde applyed al unto 
vertue from youth, and whan his fader waxed aged he wolde have 

1 Bath Calendar, circa 1383 ; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 10,628. " Caranton . . . 
vocatur a Carantoco Britanno." Camden, Britannia, 1594, p. 156. 

S. Car ami og 8 9 

resygned his crowne unto hym as his heyre, he than stale away pryvely 
and changed clothynge with a poore beggar. And therein made his 
prayer unto our lorde to guyde and directe hym wheder he wolde, 
forthw 1 came an augell in lykeness of a dove and ledde hym unto a 
solytary place where he lyvedin grete holy nes, after the same augell 
in ye same lykenes brought hym in to yrelond to visyte saynt Patryke, 
and from thens unto many places where ever he did grete myracles, 
and moche edifyed the fayth wherin he dyed full blessedly." 

On May 16, in the Felire of Oengus he is entered as " Cairnechthe 
mighty " ; and a gloss adds " Cairnech of Tulen near Kells, and of 
the Britons of Cornwall was he." 

On the same day, in the Martyrologies of Tallagh, O'Gorman and 
Donegal ; also in the Drummond Calendar. 

Under the name of S. Carnac, Cairnech had a chapel in Scotland, in 
the Haugh of Laithers, in the parish of Turriff , but this certainly per- 
tains to a namesake and not to this Cairnech. He is, as already stated, 
in the fifteenth century Missal of Treguier, on May 16, as Caranauc, 
but as Caradoc in the Vannes Missal of 1530, the Vannes Breviary 
of 1586, the Leon Bre'viary of 1516, and the Leon Missal of 1526. 

The village feast at Crantock in Cornwall is on May 16. His Holy 
Well there is in the midst of the village. The church has been lately 
(1902) restored, and his legend has been represented in the nave 
windows and in the carving of the stalls. 

According to the Vita in Rees, Ceredigion (now Cardiganshire) was 
Carannog's " sua propria regio." Ogof Granog, his cave, at Llangranog, 
to which he returned from Ireland, is in the rock above the church, about 
200 yards from the village ; x and above the little harbour or creek below 
the village there is a rock, resembling a large chair, which is called Eis- 
teddfa Granog. At Llangranog is also a Holy Well, Ffynnon Fair, 
later placed under the invocation of Our Lady, but almost certainly 
earlier named after S. Carannog, as close by it is Lletty Carannog, 
S. Carannog's lodging. This is an ancient cottage, the property of 
the Vicar for the time being, and was at one time the Vicarage. There 
was formerly a Capel Cranog in the parish of S. Dogmael's, Pembroke- 
shire, which is described as a pilgrimage chapel. 2 On the borders of 
the same county, at Egremont, a stone was discovered a few years 
ago with the name Carantacus on it. 3 

In art Carannog should be represented with a wood pigeon carrying 
a shaving at his side. 

1 It is traditionally believed to be a cave of about three miles long, its other 
end appearing as a cave at Cwm Tydi to the north. 

Owen, Pembrokeshire, i, p. 509. 3 Arch. Camb., 1889, pp. 306, 311. 

90 Lives of the ^British Saints 

In Brittany his statues show him with a child beside him, intended 
for his disciple Tenenan. 

His death took place probably about the middle of the sixth century. 

Carannog must be clearly distinguished from another Saint also 
known as Cairnech, in Ireland, but who was one of a less amiable and 
pious character. See under S. CAIRNECH. Carannog is invoked in the 
tenth century Litany published by Mabillon as Carnache. 1 

Cunedda Wledig. 


Ceredig = Meleri, 

da. Brychan. 

r \r I 

Corun. Cedig. Sant = 

= Non, da. Cynyr 
of Caer Gawch. 

\ \^ \ \ \ 

S. Carannog. S. Tyssul. S. Pedyr. S. Tydiwg. S. Ceneu S. David. 

and others. 



WE couple these two names together because they have been sup- 
posed to represent one person. They are, however, quite distinct. 

Carwyd's claim to sainthood rests on one document only, which is 
printed in the lolo MSS., 2 and had been transcribed, and possibly 
compiled, in 1670. There Carwyd is said to have been son of Pabo 
Post Prydyn, and brother of SS. Dunawd and Sawyl Benuchel (or 
rather Benisel). They were saints or monks of Bangor on Dee. 
His name is not given as a son of Pabo in the Old- Welsh genealogies 
in Harleian MS. 3859, but a Kerwyd, which would be Cerwydd to-day, 
occurs in Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd in Peniarth MS. 45 (late thirteenth 

1 Revue Celtique, xi, p. 140. 2 P. 105. 

S. Cathan 9 1 

century). 1 We have here again two forms which cannot philologically 
be equated. 

There was a hermit, named Carwed, as we learn from two late 
sixteenth century MSS., 2 who lived in the time of Gwaithfoed, Broch- 
wel Ysgythrog, and Ethelbert, King of Kent (died 616). Gwaithfoed, 
with a band of Welshmen, had gone on a plundering expedition into 
Gwent, and on his way home " he encountered and killed thirteen 
highwaymen at Carneddau, near Bwlch y Clawdd Du ; also Garwed 
(or Carwed), a murderous hermit, and the hermit's wife (who had 
assumed ' the guise of a nun '), as well as a pack of wolves on his 
way to Strata Florida." In the tradition found at Strata Florida by 
Dr. John David Rhys, Carwed is called Garwed, and appears as a cawr, 
or giant. 3 

Carwed was formerly a fairly common man's name. It occurs in 
Carwed Fynydd, the name of a township of the parish of Llannefydd, 
Denbighshire, as the father of Bach, and in the "Tuderius ap Kar- 
wet," mentioned in a Charter (12 Edward I) printed in Dugdale. 4 



S. CATHAN, or CATHEN, Confessor 

THIS Saint was a son of Cawrdaf ab Caradog Freichfras, and brother 
of S. Medrod. 5 His mother is said to have been Peryfferen, daughter 
of Lleuddun Luyddog, of Dinas Eiddyn (Edinburgh). By her is 
meant Beren or Perfferen the mother of S. Beuno by Bugi. But this 
must be a mistake. 

Cathen is the patron of Llangathen, in Carmarthenshire ; and the 
commote of Catheiniog (in Cantref Mawr), anciently Cetheinauc and 
Cethinauc, in which the parish lies, may or may not have been called 
after him. There is a brook there also called Cathan. But the 
names might quite as probably be derived from Cathen, son of Cloten, 
a descendant of Aircol, son of Triphun, and King of Dyfed, mentioned 

1 Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 455. 

2 J. Gwenogvryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., ii, p. 350 ; i, p. 878. 

3 Ibid., i, p. 724 ; cf. the Garwedd, a tributary of the Neath. 

4 Monasticon, 1825, v, p. 674. 

5 lolo MSS., pp. 107, 123 ; Myv. Arch., p. 420. 

9 2 Lives of the British Saints 

in the Old-Welsh (tenth century) genealogies in Harleian MS. 3859, 
wherein we have also a Caten, son of Caurtam, 1 which looks very like 
the original of the late pedigree given above. In the place-names 
of Deheubarth we have the Cathan, near Pant-y-ffynnon Station, 
Cwm Cathan, N.W. of Pencader Junction, and Cwm Cathen, near 
Trimsaran, Pembrey. Gwaen and Gwerglodd Gathan are mentioned 
in the Survey of the Lordship of Ruthin (1737). 

Cathen's festival does not occur in any early Welsh calendar, but 
Rees 2 gives it as May 17, on which day Catan or Cathan, a bishop in 
Bute during the sixth or seventh century, who had his cell at Kil- 
cathan or Kilchattan, is also commemorated in the Scottish calendars. 
There was an Irish saint of the name, commemorated on February i, 
and the two are generally confounded, but the pedigree of neither 
agrees with that of the Welsh saint. 

In a Welsh ode the protection of Cathen is invoked for Henry VII. 3 


S. CAW, King, Confessor. 

CAW was the son of Geraint ab Erbin, prince of Devon and Cornwall. 
He is variously called Caw of Prydyn, that is Pictland, Lord of Cwm 
Cawlwyd 4 in Prydyn, and Caw of Twr Celyn in Anglesey. 

There is a singular legend in the Life of S. Cadoc. One day whilst 
Cadoc was digging about his monastery in Scotland (Cambuslang, 
of which the church is dedicated to S. Cadoc) he " hit upon a 
collar bone of some ancient hero, of incredible size." It turned out to 
be Caw's, who made his appearance to Cadoc and his men as "an 
immense giant," and, throwing himself at the saint's feet, earnestly 
besought him that he would not " permit his miserable soul, hitherto 
suffering dreadful punishment in hell, to go there again." In reply 
to Cadoc's demands who he was and what his history, he said that he 
was called Cau, " with the surname Pritdin (Prydyn) or Caur (giant)," 

1 Y Cymmrodor, ix, pp. 171, 175 ; Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii. pp. 224, 407. 

2 Welsh Saints, p. 280. 3 lolo MSS., p. 314. 

4 His name occurs as Caw Cawllog or Cowllog in lolo MSS., p. 142, and Myv. 
Arch., p. 421. There is a Cwm Cowlwyd or Cowlyd, well known for its lake, near 
Capel Curig. The Owl of Cwm Cawlwyd, one of the ancient creatures in the Tale 
of Culhwch and Olwen, belonged to it. Cwm Cawlyd is also the name of a hamlet 
in the parish of Llandeilo Fawr. 

S. Caw 93 

that he had been a king " beyond the mountain Bannauc," and that 
he and his robber-band were killed at this spot whilst on a plundering 
expedition. Since then they had been " tormented in the devouring 
flames of hell." Cadoc promised him his request, as well as longer 
life in this world, on his " performing due satisfaction for his sins " ; 
and he there and then set to to help the saint's diggers. 1 The resusci- 
tation of a dead giant occurs in other legends, as in that of S. Patrick 
and that of S. Brendan. 

The "mountain Bannawg " is believed by Skene to be the range called 
the Cathkin hills, in the parish of Carmunnock, which terminates in 
Renfrewshire, and the modern county of Renfrew was probably the 
seat of Caw. a In the Life of Gildas by the Monk of Ruys Gildas is 
said to have been the son of Caunus, " a most noble and Catholic 
man," who bore rule in Arecluda, 3 that is, a district on the Clyde, to 
which description that county answers. The Life by Caradog of 
Llancarfan 4 calls him Nau, no doubt a clerical error for Cau, and 
describes him as " King of Scotia, and the noblest of the Kings of the 

There are several lists of Caw's children, which differ considerably 
in the number assigned to him. The Monk of Ruys says that he was 
the father of, besides Gildas, Cuillus (who succeeded his father to the 
throne), Mailocus, Egreas (Eugrad), Alleccus (Gallgo), and a daughter 
Peteona (Peithien). According to Caradog of Llancarfan he was 
the father of twenty- four sons, " victorious warriors," but he does 
not give their names, beyond saying that his eldest son was Hueil, 
to be identified with the Monk of Ruys' Cuillus. 

There is a list of twenty-one children given in the Mabinogion tale of 
Culhwch and Olwen, nearly all of whom occur among Arthur's warriors. 
They are Angawd, Ardwyat, Kalcas, Kelin, Koch, Konnyn, Kynwas, 
Dirmyc, Ergyryat, Etmic, Gildas, Gwennabwy (daughter), Gwarthegyt, 
Gwyngat, Hueil, lustic, Llwybyr, Mabsant, Meilic, Neb, and Ouan, 
some of which names are obviously the mere outcome of the fun and 
fancy of the story-teller. The only ones that are mentioned in any 
of the other Mabinogion tales are Gildas and Gwarthegyt. 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 56-8. 

2 Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales, i, pp. 173-4; Forbes, Kalendars of 
Scottish Saints, p. 293 ; Y Cymmrodor, xi, pp. 75, 81. The Bannawg is mentioned 
also in Gorchan Maelderw (Skene, ibid., ii, p. 101). 

3 Ed. Hugh Williams, p. 322. We should probably read the name here as Caun- 
us, that is, Caw. It occurs in the Cavo of the Llanfor stone (Merionethshire). His 
name appears also, through some confusion, as Cado (Mabinogion, Oxford ed., 
p. 123, Jesus Coll. MS. 20), and Cadw (Myv. Arch., p. 416 ; Cambro-British Saints > 
p. 268). 

4 Ed. Hugh Williams, p. 394. 

94 Lives of the British Saints 

In the lolo MSS. 1 are printed eight lists of his children, which vary 
from ten to twenty-one in the number given. The following is an alpha- 
betical list of the sons Afarwy, Afrogwy (probably the same as Afarwy), 
Aidan y Coed Aur or Aeddan, Aneuryn (Auryn, Euryn) y Coed Aur 
(the same as Gildas), Annef or Ane, Bangawr (once ; possibly the 
Angawd of Culhwch and the Angar of lolo MSS., p. 256), Blenwyd, 
Carfo, Caian, Ceidio, Celyn Moel (once ; the Kelin of Culhwch), Cennydd 
(a son of Gildas, possibly the Konnyn of Culhwch), Cewydd, Cilydd, 
Cof or Coff, Cyhelyn Fardd or Foel (possibly the same as Celyn Moel), 
Cynddilig (a son of Nwython), Cyngan Foel (once ; possibly Cyngar), 
Cyngar, Cynwrig, Dirinic (the Dirmyc of Culhwch), Eigrawn, Eugrad, 
Gallgo, Garhai or Garrai (more correctly Gwrhai or Gwrai), Gildas y 
Coed Aur (the same as Aneuryn), Gwrddelw, Gwrddyly, Gwrthili or 
Gwrddwdw (no doubt four forms of the same name, Gwrddilig) , Gwydion 
(once), Huail, Idwal (once), Maelog (once Maelon), Peirio, Samson, and 
Ustig (the lustic of Culhwch). The daughters were Cain, Caen, Canna 
or Cannau (apparently all representing one name, but the first two 
also entered as sons), Cywyllog or Cywellog, Gwenabwy or Gwenafwy, 
and Peithien, Peithini or Peillan. 

Late Welsh tradition affirms that Caw was dispossessed of his terri- 
tory in the North by the Gwyddyl Ffichti or Pictish Goidels, and that 
he and his family found asylum in Wales. Maelgwn Gwynedd gave 
him the lands of Twr Celyn in North-east Anglesey, probably com- 
mensurate with the present-day rural deanery of the name. We are 
told that " his mother hailed from that place, and that he had claim 
and right to land there." 2 Who his mother was the genealogies do 
not tell us. Some of his children remained in North Wales and became 
" saints " in the so-called " Bangors " there, whilst others were granted 
lands, we are told, by King Arthur in South Wales, and became also 
"saints" in the "Bangors" of Catwg, Illtyd, and Teilo. Caw himself 
and his brothers Cado, Cyngar, Selyf , and lestyn are said to have been 
"saints" of Catwg's "Bangor" at Llancarfan. 3 He is also credited 4 
with having founded the church of Llangewydd (S. Cewydd, his son), 
since removed to Laleston (now S. David), in Glamorganshire. 

Caw is best known as the ancestor of one of the Three Saintly 
Tribes, but his title to saintship rests on quite late documents. In 
the well known Triad of the " Three Families (or Stocks) of the Saints 
of Britain," as given in the late and made-up " Third Series of Triads/' 5 
his family has been deliberately replaced by that of the mythical 

1 Pp. 109, 116-7, I 36~7. T 4 2 -3- 2 lolo MSS., p. 147. 

3 Ibid., p. 116 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 421, 423. * lolo MSS., p. 220. 

5 Myv. Arch., p. 402. 

Cawrdaf 95 

Bran Fendigaid, by those Glamorgan antiquaries interested in bol- 
stering up the Lucius fiction. 

Among the " Sayings of the Wise " occurs the following : l 

Hast thou heard the saying of Caw ? 
" Though it is easy to un-freeze frost, 
It is not easy to un-sort sort." 
(Cyt bai hawdd datrewi rhew, 
Bydd anhawdd datrywiaw rhyw.) 

S. CAWRDAF, King, Confessor 

CAWRDAF was the son of Caradog Freichfras the Carados Brebras 
of romance by the beautiful Tegau Eurfron, daughter of Nudd 
Hael. He was brother of SS. Cadfarch, Maethlu, and Tangwn, and 
father of SS. Cathan and Medrod. For some time he was a "saint" 
at Llantwit. 2 

We are told that " the Cor of Cawrdaf in Glamorgan was for 300 
saints," and that " Einion ab Collwyn founded Llantrisant after 
Llangawrdaf was burnt." 3 The ruins of this religious house are 
to be seen about a mile and a half south of Llantrisant, on a pretty 
situation above Miskin Manor. It is also called Gelli Gawrdaf (his 

He is now generally, and has been for some time, accounted the 
patron of Abererch, in Carnarvonshire, as also sometimes of Llangoed 
in Anglesey, either solely or conjointly with his brother Tangwn. 4 
In the older saintly genealogies, however, he is never associated with 
either, nor even included as a saint. There is a Ffynnon Gawrdaf at 
Abererch, and on a small eminence about a quarter of a mile from 
the church, is a large boulder stone, with a flat piece cut out of it, 
called Cadair Gawrdaf, his chair or seat. Angharad Llwyd, in her 
History of Anglesey, 5 says that Llangoed is dedicated to " S. Cowrda, 
one of the ancient Colidei, who was buried here." At Bron Llan- 
gowrda in Cardiganshire are the remains of a chapel. 6 Gallt Cawrdaf 

1 lolo MSS., p. 254. 

2 Ibid., pp. 102, 123. Cawrdaf was anciently written Caurtam (Y Cymm- 
rodor, ix, pp. 175, 180). 

3 Ibid., pp. 151, 221. These late documents must be taken at their value. 

4 In Browne Willis, Survey of Bangor, pp. 275, 282, both are given as dedicated 
to Cawrdaf. 

5 P. 284. Lewis Morris, Celtic Remains, p. 103. 

Lives of the British Saints 

(his wood) is mentioned as being in Gwent, 1 but by it is no doubt 
intended Gelli Gawrdaf. Leland (I tin., iv, fo. 60) calls it Galthe 



His name not infrequently occurs as Cowrda, but it is very doubtful 
whether Cwrda and Gwrda are corruptions of Cawrdaf, especially the 
latter. The church of Jordanston, Pembrokeshire, is usually given 
as dedicated to a S. Cwrda, evolved, as it would appear, from Tre 
Iwrdan, the Welsh form of the parish-name. Llanwrda in Carmar- 
thenshire is sometimes ascribed to S. Cawrdaf, but the form postulates 
Gwrda, probably for Gwrdaf. The Llanwrda wakes were November 
12 (All Saints' Day, O.S.), 2 on the first Monday after which, until 
recently, a fair was held. 

The Festival of S. Cawrdaf occurs on December 5 in the Calendars 
in Peniarth MSS. 172, 186 and 187, Llanstephan MS. 117, the lolo 
MSS. (where he is styled Bishop), the Welsh Prymersof 1618 and 1633, 
Allwydd Paradwys, 1670 (where he is called Gwrda), and in a number 
of eighteenth century Welsh Almanacks. In the Calendars in Addi- 
tional MS. 14,882, and Peniarth MS. 219, Cowrda stands against 
February 21. 

The following extract, referring to Abererch, occurs in the Archac- 
logia Cambrensis for 1856 : 3 "A curious custom prevailed in this 

1 lolo MSS., p. 102. 2 Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 270. 3 Pp. 305-6. 

S. Cawrdaf 97 

parish within the memory of persons still alive. On the eve of S. 
Cawrdaf's festival all the children brought into the church a number 
of candles, which they had been making themselves, or had bought 
one candle for each member of their family in whom they were parti- 
cularly interested, and which they had called after their names. They 
knelt down, lighted them, and muttered any prayer they recollected 
as long as the candles continued burning ; but, according as the candles 
became extinguished one after the other, they supposed that the 
person whose name was attached to the candle that burnt out first would 
certainly die first ; and so on in the order of successive extinctions." 

The Triads state that Cawrdaf was one of the three " chief or prime 
ministers (Cynweisiaid) of the Isle of Britain." 1 They were so called 
on account of their great influence ; whenever they went to battle 
the whole population of the country to a man followed them of their 
own accord. In the Tale of the Dream of Rhonabwy he is mentioned 
among the " counsellors " of King Arthur. 

The following occurs among the " Sayings of the Wise " : 2 

Hast thou heard the saying of Cawrdaf, 
Son of Caradog Freichfras, the chieftain ? 
" Let the work of the cautious hand prosper." 
(Llwyddid gorchwyl Haw araf.) 

Hywel Rheinallt, in the fifteenth century, wrote a poem, Cywydd 
Cowrda Sant, in honour of him. 3 It contains a few, but vague, allu- 
sions to his legend. He is associated with Abererch, otherwise Llan 
Gawrda, of which the writer evidently regarded him as patron. Here, 
it would seem, was his shrine, and also his statue, with " his book and 
holy bell." His sanctuary and the boulder stone are referred to, and 
" Deiniol and his men " are mentioned as having given him land. 

Morgan Mwynfawr, King of Morganwg, we are told lived to a great 
age, as did also many members of his family. This, it was believed, 
was " in consequence of a benediction bestowed upon him by S. 
Cawrdaf." 4 There were two kings or princes of this district called 
Morgan. The first, Morgan ab Athrwys, is possibly the Morcant who 
died circa 665. The second, Morgan ab Owen ab Hywel ab Rhys, 
known as Morgan Hen, died circa 974, and it was from him that 
Morganwg took its name. Evidently the story refers to the latter. 

1 Red Book Triads in Oxford Mabinogion, p. 302 ; Skene, Four Ancient Books, 
ii, pp. 458-9; Myv. Arch., p. 405. z lolo MSS., p. 253. 

3 There are copies of it, e.g., in the seventeenth century MSS., Jesus College 
MS. cxl ( = 15), Llanstephan MS. 47, Llyfr Hir Llywarch Reynolds, and also 
Cwrtmawr MS. 12, and Panton MS. 42. 

4 D. Lloyd Isaac, Siluriana, Newport, Mon., 1859, p. 15. 


98 Lives of the British Saints 


CEDOL occurs only in the Myvyrian alphabetical Bonedd, 1 but 
without the customary pedigree. The name is simply entered as 
that of the patron of Llangedol, near Bangor, now usually called 

The Festival of S. Cedol does not appear in any of the early calendars, 
but it is given as All Saints' Day. 2 

Cedol as an adjective means munificent, or kind, and Goronwy 
Owain in one of his poems has a happy play upon the word in reference 
to Cors y Gedol, above Barmouth. 


/" J L 

vc ' 

S. CEDWYN, Confessor 

CEDWYN was the son of Gwgon Gwron ab Peredur ab Eliffer Gos- 
gorddfawr, by Madrun, daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid. 3 His 
mother was at one time also married to Ynyr Gwent, and is reckoned 
among the Welsh Saints. 

Cedwyn is the patron of Llangedwyn, in Denbighshire. Scrwgan, 
the name of one of its two townships, is believed to stand for Esgair 
Wgan, the Ridge or Hill of Gwgan, embodying his father's name. 
Lewis Glyn Cothi, in the fifteenth century, invokes Cedwyn in two of 
his poems. 4 

In the Book of Llan Ddv, 5 Lann Cetguinn in Ystrad Yw (a commote in 
south-east Breconshire) is named among the churches which were conse- 
crated by Bishop Herwald (died 1104), but there do not appear to be 
any traces of it now. In the same work, 6 Cum Cetguinn is mentioned 
in the boundary of the parish of Wonastow, near Monmouth. Nant 
Cedwyn is the name of a brook which runs into the Ely in the parish 
of Leckwith, near Cardiff, and Cwm Cedwyn is the woody dell on the 
right bank of the Ely, between Leckwith and Llandough. 

.The Cedwyn of Ynys Cedwyn in North Glamorgan, near .the junction 
of the Twrch with the Tawe, is said to have been a giant. 7 

1 Pp. 4223. 2 Willis, Bangor, p. 272 ; Cambrian Register, 1818, iii, p. 223. 

3 Peniarth MSS. 74 and 75 (sixteenth century) ; Myv. Arch., p. 420 ; lolo MSS., 
p: 128. His father is mentioned as Gwgawn Gwrawn in the Triads of Arthur 
and his Warriors (Peniarth MS. 45) ; cf. also Peniarth MS. 12, and Myv. Arch., 
pp. 389, 404. The late saintly pedigrees give the name as Gwgon ab Gwron 
and Gwgon Megwron. 

4 Poetical Works, Oxford, 1837, pp. 30, 96. B P. 279. 6 P. 202. 
1 Peniarth MS. 118 (late sixteenth century). 

C * A*-* 

S. Ceidio 99 


THREE persons of this name are esteemed as saints, but little is 
known of any one of them. 

I. Ceidio, the son of Caw. His name occurs in two published lists 
only of the children of Caw. 1 He is the tutelar saint of Rhodwydd 
Geidio (otherwise simply Ceidio 2 ), a chapel under Llanerchymedd, in 
Anglesey. Browne Willis gives November 18 as the festival. 3 

II. Ceidio, or Ceido, son of the prince and saint Ynyr Gwent by 
Madrun, daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid. 4 He had two brothers, 
Cynheiddon and Iddon, and a sister, Tegiwg, who were also saints. 
He is said to have been a saint of Llancarfan. 

Ceidio, in the promontory of Lleyn, is under the remarkable isolated 
hill of Cam Madryn, which takes its name from Madrun. The local 
tradition is that on the burning of the palace of Gwrtheyrn, under 
Tre'r Ceiri, Madrun fled with Ceidio, then a child in arms, to the 
fortress on Carn Madryn ; and that later in life Ceidio founded the 
church that bears his name beneath the mountain. In Madryn Hall 
is a fine group of statuary representing Madrun flying with her child 
in her arms. 

He is very probably the Cetiau mentioned in the Life of S. Oudoceus 5 
as having been among the principal laymen of the Diocese of Llandaff 
who, in addition to the clergy, elected that saint to be the successor of 
Teilo in the bishopric. " Sedes Cetiau " occurs in the boundary 
of the grant to the Church of Llandaff, made during the episcopate of 
Oudoceus, of Ecclesia Guruid, 6 later Llanirwydd, in Monmouthshire. 7 
" About half a mile east of Rhayader, in Radnorshire, there is a 
barrow, in a field called Cefn Ceidio, under which it is supposed that 
he has been buried. 

The festival at Ceidio, Carnarvonshire, is given in the Cambrian 
Register as November 3, 8 but as the 6th by Browne Willis. 9 

1 lolo MSS., p. 142 ; cf. Myv. Arch., p. 420. 

2 Rhodwydd is not a word of frequent occurrence. It seems to mean " a 
stockaded mound," from what in Ireland and Pembrokeshire is called a rath 
(mound), fortified with gwydd (wood). It occurs in the Black Book of Carmar- 
then, f. 46^, as rodwit, and in the Book of Llan Ddv, p. 126, in the plu. rotguidou, 
its oldest form. We have it also in Rhodwydd Arderydd, Rhodwydd Forlas 
(Myv. Arch., p. 96), and Tommen y Rhodwydd, also known as the Castle of lal, 
erected by Owain Gwynedd in the parish of Llanarmon yn lal. See, further, 
Loth's note in the Revue Celtique, xv, p. 97. 

3 Survey of Bangor, p. 279. 

4 Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 420, 422-3 ; 
Cambro-British Saints, pp. 268, 271 ; lolo MSS., pp. 101, 138. 

5 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 132. 6 Ibid., p. 143. - 7 Myv. Arch., p. 749. 
8 Vol. iii, 1818, p. 224. 9 Survey of Bangor, j>. 275. 

ioo Lives of the British Saints 

III. Ceidio, son of Arthwys, of the line of Coel. His title to saintship 
seems to rest upon one passage only in the lolo MSS. 1 He was the 
brother of Eliffer Gosgorddfawr, Pabo, and Cynfelyn, and the father 
of Gwenddoleu, Nudd, and Cof, three saints of Llantwit. 

" The terrible steed of Ceido," which had " a hoof with bribery 
upon it," is mentioned with other celebrated horses in a poem in the 
Book of Taliessin. 2 

A Citawe, for Citiawe, is invoked in the tenth century Litany pub- 
lished by Mabillon, and M. J. Loth supposes that the Welsh Ceidio 
is meant. Of the three, probably the brother of Gildas is meant. 
In the Cartulary of Quimperle he is called Kigavus. 3 


THIS Virgin Saint's name occurs in several of the later lists of Bry- 
chan's children, and her church is said to be at Caer Godolor (once 
Caer Golon). 4 In Peniarth MSS. 75 and 131 she occurs as " Ceindeg 
ab Caer Godolor." The only name approaching it in form in the 
Cognatio de Brychan is Kerdych or Kerdech, which would now be 
Cerddych or Cerddech. The Vespasian version has, " Kerdych que 
iacet in Thywin in Merioneth," and the Domitian, " Kerdech apud 
Llandegwin." In the Jesus College MS. 20 the entry runs, "Kerdech 
yssyd yglan tywi ymeiryonyd." They connect her with Towyn, 
Merionethshire. We have evidently in Ceindrych a misreading of the 
" Keinbreit apud Teraslogur " of the Domitian version for the " Kein 
ythrauil ogmor " of the older (Vespasian) version, i.e., S. Cain of 

Mr. Phillimore thinks Cerdych is perhaps commemorated in Cedris, 
on the Dysynni, below Aber Gynolwyn, which was anciently called 
Maes Llangedris ; but the change of -ch to -s seems unexampled. 

There was a Ceindrech Benasgell (the Wing-headed), daughter 
of Eliffer Gosgorddfawr, whose wife Efrddyl gave birth to triplets 
Gwrgi, Peredur, and Ceindrech ; 5 in the Vespasian Cognatio her name 
is spelt Estedich. In the genealogies in Jesus College MS. 20 occurs 
a " Keindrech verch Reiden," who is given (but the MS. seems here 
corrupt and confused) as the mother of Owain ab Macsen Wledig. 

1 P. 126. 2 Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 176. 

3 Revue Celtique, xi, p. 140. 

4 lolo MSS., pp. in, 120, 140 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419-20. 
6 Triads, series i, in Myv. Arch., p. 392. 

S. Ceitho 101 

S. CEINGAIR, Matron 

CEINGAIR was one of the married daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog. 
Her name occurs in the Cognatio as Kehingayr and Keyngair, and 
she is said to have been the mother of S. Cynidr of Glasbury. Her 
husband is not mentioned. In the Jesus College MS. 20 her name is 
spelt Kingar. In the late Brychan catalogues it appears under a 
variety of corrupt forms, Rhiengar, Rhieingar, Rheingar, Rhiengan, 
and Rhieingan. R for K was a very common scribal error. She is 
therein said to have been a saint at Llech Maelienydd, and her church 
to be in Maelienydd, 1 a cantred now, in part, in North Radnorshire, 
but we have not been able to identify it. It is in all probability some 
late sciolist's corruption of Llech Mellte, i.e., the Petra Meltheu under 
which, in the Vespasian Cognatio, Hunydd, another daughter of 
Brychan, is said to rest. 2 

The name is rare. There was a Ceincair, wife of Fernwael ab Ithel, 3 
King of Glywysing, who died in 775, and a Ceincair, daughter of Mere- 
dydd ab Tewdos (died 796), mentioned in Jesus College MS. 20. 


S. CEITHO, Abbot, Confessor 

IN the Demetian or South Wales Calendar, denominated S, occurs 
" The festival of Ceitho, Abbot and Confessor, August 5." The same 
Calendar further mentions him as one of the Pumsaint or Five Saints 
born at one birth, who were sons of Cynyr Farfwyn, of Cynwyl Gaio 
in Carmarthenshire, and were commemorated together on All Saints' 
Day. This is the only Calendar that gives these two festivals, but 
in the Calendar in the Additional MS. 14,886, " Pymsaint " occurs 
against January 7. 

It is not certain who Cynyr was. There was a Cynyr, the son of 
Gwron ab Cunedda Wledig, 4 and a Cynyr, called also Cynyr Ceinfarfog, 
the foster father of King Arthur (called Timon in Spenser) in Penllyn 
and the father of Cai Hir, who gave his name to Caer Gai, near Bala. 5 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 429 ; lolo MSS., p. 120. 

* For the Mellte place-names see Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 299. 
3 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 207-8. * lolo MSS., p. 122. 

5 Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 458 ; Mabinogion, Oxford, p. 109 ; Owen's 
Pembrokeshire, ii, pp. 4001. 

i o 2 Lives of the British Saints 

Ceitho is the patron of Llangeitho, in Cardiganshire, and his Holy 
Well there, Ffynnon Geitho, which issues from the rock and forms a 
stream, is said to possess this peculiarity, that its water is tepid in 
winter and cold ih summer. 1 To the Five Saints who were Gwyn, 
Gwyno, Gwynoro, Celynin, and Ceitho is dedicated Llanpumsaint, 
in Carmarthenshire, and there was formerly a chapel called Pumsaint 
in the parish of Cynwyl Gaio (otherwise Caio), in the same county. 

The lolo MSS. 2 state that the patron of Llangeitho (apparently) 
is a S. Ceitho the son of Tudur ab Arwystl Gloff. 

S. Ceithyw is mentioned in an Ode to King Henry VII, 3 his protection 
being invoked for that king. 

For the legend of the Five Saints see SS. GWYN, GWYNO, etc. 

S. CELER, Martyr 

NOTHING is known of the parentage of this saint, and his name, 
under the form Celert, is simply entered as the patron of Llangeler 
and Bedd Gelert by Lewis Morris in his alphabetical Bonedd in the 
Myvyrian Archaiology,* compiled in 1760. The period at which he 
lived is also unknown. Rees 5 gives him in his list of Saints who 
lived in the second half of the seventh century, " including those of 
uncertain date." All that we know for certain about him is that he 
was a martyr, for Llangeler church, in Carmarthenshire, of which he 
is the patron saint, appears in the Taxatio of 1291 6 as Eccl'ia de 
Martir Keler, which implies that the church was originally a martynum. 
There is on the glebe, near the church, a spring called Ffynnon Geler, 
which was formerly supposed to possess medicinal virtues. 

Dr. Erasmus Saunders, in his View of the State of Religion in the 
Diocese of S. David's about the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, 
observes that it was still the custom among the common people " in 
their ejaculations to invocate, not only the Deity," but Celer and other 
Saints, who were " often thus remember'd, as if they (the people) 
had hardly yet forgotten the use of Praying to them." 7 

Celer and Celert are forms of rare occurrence. In the pedigree of 
Serigi Wyddel, who was killed by Cadwallon Lawhir, occurs " Celert 
ab Math ab Mathonwy " 8 ; but it is very probably a late, made up copy. 

1 There is a poem on the well by Gwynionydd in his Caniadau, Aberystwyth, 
1867, p. 94. 2 p. 142. 3 Ibid., p. 314. 

4 P. 422. 5 Welsh Saints, p. 306. ' P. 272. 7 London, 1721, pp. 35-6. 
8 lolo MSS., p. 8 1. There was a Celer, proconsul of Africa in 429, who is 

S. Celer 103 

The name Beddgelert (locally pronounced Bethgelart) is a little 
puzzling. It presupposes to-day the form Gelert, not Celert (bedd 
being masculine) ; but among the mediaeval spellings we have Beth 
Kellarth and Beth Kelert. 1 The combination rt makes Celert a late 
form in Welsh ; if it were early we should expect rth. It rather in- 
dicates a Goidelic form for Welsh Celerth or Celarth. 

Beddgelert church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast of 
the Assumption. We do not believe that it was at first a hermit's 
cell, as has been supposed from the prefix bedd, nor that a Welsh saint 
is embodied in the name. The original mound or grave was, in all 
probability, that of some Goidelic chieftain. Browne Willis explains 
the name thus," Bedh significat sepulchrum et Kilart canis nebophroni." 2 
The association of the legend as known to-day with the place is quite 
recent. The older form of the Kill-hart legend is preserved in the 
Additional MS. 19,713, dated 1592, which says that the Princess Joan, 
natural daughter to King John and wife to Llywelyn ab lorwerth (the 
Great), brought this noble staghound with her from England, and 
that one day it was fatally wounded by a horn-thrust, after a long 
chase, and buried here". In the same MS. and also in another MS., 
written about the same time, occurs an englyn, now well known, 
" to Llywelyn ab lorwerth Drwyndwn's hound (Kilhart) when it was 
buried at Beddgelert." 3 

The local legend, in its later form, is very familiar through Spencer's 
ballad, written and published in 1800. In this form it occurs among 
the fables of the pseudo-Cat wg Ddoeth, 4 written probably in the six- 
teenth century, but is therein connected with Abergarwan, somewhere 
in South Wales it would seem. 5 There is, however, an Abergarfan 
in the Corris valley. 

addressed by S. Augustine in two epistles, and a Celer, captain of the body-guard 
to Anastasius, and consul in 508. 

1 Sion Tudur (died 1602), in a long cywydd, entitled Almanac Tragywyddol, 
has the couplet 

" Gwell fydd gwenith yn y Ddiserth 
Nag yng nghreigiau Beddgelerth." 

2 Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 276. The last word should be nebrophoni 
fawn -killing. 3 J. Gwenogvryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., ii, p. 355. 

4 lolo MSS., pp. 154-5. 

5 For the legend, its history and analogues, see Jacobs, Celtic Fairy Tales, 
1892, pp. 259-64 ; D. E. Jenkins, Bedd Gelert, 1899, pp. 56-74 ; Gossiping Guide 
to Wales, ed. 1907, pp. 307-8 ; Rhys, Celtic Folklore, p. 567 ; Baring-Gould, 
Curious Myths. The earliest known allusion to it is in the Warwick Roll, written 
and illuminated by John Rows, the antiquary, before the death of Richard III 
(1485). The six crests borne by King Richard are there given in colour; and 
the sixth is a cradle or, a greyhound Argent, for " Walys." 

IO4 Lives of the British Saints 

S. CELYN FOEL, Confessor 

CELYN MOEL (or rather Foel), " the Bald^" occurs in one list in the 
lolo MSS. 1 of the children of Caw. He is the Kelin of the Culhwch 
and Olwen list, and is, no doubt, the same as Cuhelyn Foel (or Fardd) 
of other lists of Caw's children. Evidently some Glamorgan scribe 
has mixed up Kelin ab Caw with Cuhelyn Fardd ab Gwynfardd Dyfed, 
a well-known figure in Demetian pedigrees, who lived in the eleventh 

S. CELYNIN, Confessor 

THERE were two Saints of this name, one belonging to North and 
the other to South Wales. 

I. Celynin, .who was one of the twelve sons of Helig ab Glanog of 
Tyno Helig, whose territory was inundated by the Irish Sea. It is 
now known as Beaumaris Bay and the Lavan Sands. Losing their 
patrimony, they became, according to the iate accounts, saints or 
monks of Bangor-on-Dee, and afterwards, some of them, of Cadfan's 
Cor in Bardsey. 2 

There are two churches dedicated to this Celynin Llangelynin, 
in Carnarvonshire, in the neighbourhood of his father's territory, and 
another, of the same name, in Merionethshire. Browne Willis 3 
gives the festival at the former as November 2,2, and at the latter as 
the 2nd. Rees 4 gives the 20th against the latter, whilst others 6 give 
the 2nd for the former. The Calendars do not give his festival. 

Ffynnon Gelynin, his holy well in Carnarvonshire, has a small oblong 
building around it, with a doorway at the east end. It is mentioned 
in the church terriejr, dated 1739. " There is in the South West of the 
Churchyard a fine Spring-well, and ye House above it is about four 
yards in breadth and five in length, and in good repair." A stone 
seat runs round three sides of the building. It is roofless now. The 
well was formerly celebrated for its cures. Mothers who had weak and 
sickly children brought them hither, and they were immersed in it 
either early in the morning or in the evening, and afterwards wrapped 
in a blanket and allowed to sleep. There was always a spare bed for 
the sufferers at a farmhouse close by. The children's clothes were 

1 P. 142. z lolo MSS., p. 124 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 418, 422. 

3 Survey of Bangor, pp. 274, 276. 4 Welsh Saints, p. 302. 

fi Carlisle, Topog. Diet, of Wales, 1811, s.v. ; Cambrian Register, iii, p. 223. 

S. Ceneu 105 

also washed in the well ; if they floated, the child would recover ; if 
they sank, it would die. Children were always baptized with water 
brought from this well. 1 

II. Celynin, one of the Pumsaint, or Five Saints, of Llanpumsaint 
and the extinct Capel Pumsaint, under Caio, both in Carmarthenshire. 
They were the sons, all born at one birth, of Cynyr Farfwyn, and 
were commemorated on All Saints' Day, according to one Calendar, 
but on January 7, according to another. 

Perhaps it was to this same saint that the church in Archenfield, 
Herefordshire, called Lann Celinni 2 in the list of churches in that 
Deanery, circa noo, was dedicated. 

See further under SS. GWYN, GWYNO, etc. 


S. CENEU, Confessor 

HE was a son of Coel Godebog, and a saint in " Garth Mathrin," 
by which the late writers in the lolo MSS. mean Brycheiniog. He 
had Elen and Gwawl as sisters, and was the father of Mor and grand- 
father of Cynllo. 3 He is credited with being the patron of Llange- 
neu or Llangenny, under Llangattock, in Brecknockshire, where his 
Holy Well was formerly in considerable repute. Towards the end 
of the eighteenth century, in removing an old building (on Pen-y- 
daren farm), near the well, supposed to have been a chapel, a curious 
old bell was found, 4 which is now preserved in the Library of the 
University College, Cardiff. It is quadrangular in shape, made oi 
two iron plates hammered and riveted together, and was once covered 
with bell-metal. It weighs nearly 7 Ibs. 

June 15 is given as the festival of S. Ceneu in the Calendars in Jesus 
College MS. 22 (late fifteenth century) and the lolo MSS. (circa 1500), 
but it may be that of Ceneu, the son of Corun ; in fact, the saintship of 
Ceneu, the son of Coel, rests on late and very doubtful authority. ^ 
He was one of the " Men of the North," who were warriors. 

1 Arch. Camb., 1867, pp. 60-1, and local tradition. The north and south 
transepts in this church were called respectively Capel Meibion and Capel Arianws. 

2 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 275. 3 lolo MSS., p. 126 ; Myv. Arch., p. 422. 
4 Jones, Hist, of Brecknockshire, ed. 1809, iii, p. 469. For a description, see 

Newell, Hist, of the Welsh Church, 1895, p. 145. 

;\ Jfv^ 


106 Lives of the British Saints 

The Ceneu name, which means a whelp or cub, enters into Gwynn- 
geneu, Morgeneu, etc. 

None of the genealogies, not even the late ones, give a Ceneu as 
daughter of Brychan. See S. CAIN. 

S. CENEU, Bishop, Confessor 

THIS Ceneu was one of the early Bishops of S. David's, and appears 
to have been the " Keneu Sanctus," son of Corun ab Ceredig, given 
in the Progenies Keredic in Cott. Vesp. A. xiv. He founded the 
church of Llangeneu, in Dyfed, which is now extinct, and its exact 
site cannot be determined. 1 Llangeneu is given as one of the " seven 
Bishop-houses in Dyfed," mentioned in the Laws of Hywel Dda, 2 and 
the editor queries whether it was Llangan, in which parish is Whitland 
Abbey. There is every probability that it was not. It was one of 
the two that were " free from ebediws, because there was no church 
land belonging to them." The seven were evidently monastic houses 
of some kind or other. 

Ceneu was the third bishop of S. David's according to one text of 
Giraldus Cambrensis, but in another he is absent from the list. 3 In 
lists of the Bishops of the Diocese he is generally entered as the 

S. CENWYN, Confessor 

CENWYN is mentioned in one document in the lolo MSS. as a Saint 
of Bangor Badarn, at Llanbadarn Fawr, with his church in Ceredigion, 
whilst on another page of the same work his name is entered in a list 
of Saints in Morganwg and Gwent. 4 His pedigree is not given. He is 
supposed to be the patron of Cilcennin, in Cardiganshire, but the church 
is generally regarded as being dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Meyrick, 

1 Rees, Welsh Saints, pp. 245, 274 ; Jones and Freeman, Hist, of S. David's, 
p. 249. 

2 Ed. Aneurin Owen (Rolls), p. 273 ; Myv. Arch., p. 962. It has also been 
supposed to be Swansea (Col. W. LI. Morgan, Antiq. Survey of E. Gowev, London, 
1899, pp. 234-5), Llangeneu (as also Sein Henydd) occurring in the Bruts as an 
old name for that town (pp. 230-1). 3 Opp. vi, ed. Dimock, p. 102. 

* Pp. 108, 146. 

S. Cenydd 107 

in his History of Cardiganshire (1808), on one page gives the Holy 
Trinity and on another S. Cenwyn. 1 In the Cenwyn dedication it is 
assumed that the parish name is composed of Cil and Cenwyn, meaning 
Cenwyn's retreat, or rather cell, and that it does not bear the more 
obvious meaning of leek-nook. Cil in Welsh place-names seems to be 
merely descriptive, meaning a nook or retreat, whilst the word cor- 
responding to the Irish and Gaelic till is cell, a cell, borrowed from the 
Latin cella. 

S. CENYDD (KENETH), Solitary, Confessor 

ABOUT 1320, John of Tynemouth made a journey through England 
and Wales to collect material for a Martyrologium and a Sanctilogium 
of the English Church. 

When in Wales he came across a single exemplar of the Life of S. 
Keneth, and this was in so bad a condition, that he was able to read 
and transcribe a portion only. 2 The Life given by him, and taken 
into Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglia, is therefore incomplete. It is 
a most extraordinary tale, a mass of fable. It was certainly composed 
after Geoffrey of Monmouth had made the fortunes of King Arthur, 
i.e. H50. 3 That it contains earlier matter is not to be doubted ; not 
of an historical, but of a mythological character. 

In the days of King Arthur, the prince of Letavia (Llydaw) or Brit- 
annia Minor, was Dihoc, and he became the father of Keneth, who was 
born of incest. 

Summoned by King Arthur, as a tributary, to come to his court to 
celebrate the Feast of Christmas in Gower, he took with him the woman, 
and she gave birth to a child, who was born a cripple, with the calf of 
one leg attached to the thigh. 

Dihoc ordered the infant to be thrown into the river, but before 
this was done, a priest baptised it and gave it the name of Keneth. 

1 Pp. 47, 284. 

2 " Multa alia de confessore isto glorioso in uno solo loco Wallie scripta vidi, 
que vetustate quasi deleta legi non potterant." His Life by John of Tynemouth 
in the Cottonian Collection, Tiberius E. i (fourteenth century). Apparently the 
same text occurs in Bodl. MS. 240 and Bodl. Tanner MS. 15. 

3 " Illis diebus Arthurus totam Britanniam regens cum curiam suam in 
natali Domini in provincia nomine Soyr teneret, principes sibi subjectos ad 
prefatum locum convenire precepit ; inter quos et princeps Letavie, regali 
jussuiobedierisiter arripuit." For Soyr of the printed text the MSS. read Goyr 
and Goir, i.e. Gwyr, in English Gower. 

i o 8 Lives of the British Saints 

The child was placed in an osier-woven cradle and launched on the 
stream. This stream speedily carried it down to the river Lothur, and 
that swept it out to sea. A storm arose and drove the cradle, dancing 
on the crest of the waves, to the isle of Inisweryn, where it was cast up 
on the beach. At once a cloud of seagulls fluttered over the child, and 
the birds with beak and claw removed it to the top of a rock, and 
there they stripped their breasts of feathers to make a bed for the 
infant. The birds kept incessant watch over their protege, spreading 
their wings over him to shelter him from wind and rain and snow. 

Before nine days had passed, an angel descended from heaven, bear- 
ing a brazen bell, which he applied to the mouth of the infant, who 
sucked vigorously at the handle, and received therefrom much satis- 

Certain practical difficulties, such as would suggest themselves 
to a mother, are got over by the author by an ingenious explanation. 1 

Thus Keneth lived till he was able to walk, and the garments in which 
he had been wrapped when exposed, grew with him, expanding, as 
does the bark of a tree. 2 

One day, a peasant who lived near the sea, and who had no family, 
happening to light on the child, took it up and carried it home, and 
committed it to his wife, who at once put the little Keneth to bed. 
This caused tremendous excitement among the gulls ; they came in 
vast numbers, and dividing into two bands, one entered the house 
and pulled the coverlet off the sleeping child, and the other, with screams 
and by the aid of beak and claw, drove the cattle of the husbandman 
towards the sea. 

The man, alarmed for his live-stock, hastily carried back Keneth 
to where he had found him, whereupon the gulls drove back his cattle 
to their pastures, and, in the most tidy manner, replaced the coverlet 
whence they had plucked it. 

And now daily a female stag came out of the forest, and squirted 
her milk into the bell that Keneth employed as his feeding-bottle, and 
likewise filled some hollows in the rocks hard by. 

Living thus, on milk and roots and herbs, Keneth grew to the age of 
eighteen, and received instruction in Scripture and the Articles of the 
Faith from an angel. Then this heavenly teacher informed him he 
must depart to a reedy spot about a mile distant. 

Keneth started ; probably on account of his crippled condition he 
made a slow progress, for we are informed that he halted, and miracu- 

" Sordes vero quas puer naturaliter in secessum emittit, ille nunquam 
faciebat ; subtilissimo enim cibo vescebatur, qui fecem non habebat." 

2 " Panni in quibus involutus erat, velut cortex circa arborem crescens," etc. 

S. Cenyda 109 

lously produced twenty-four springs to assuage his insatiable thirst 
within the one mile he traversed. 1 

Arrived at last at his destination, he built himself a hut of woven 
osiers and roofed it with reeds. Here he was joined by a man who 
offered himself as his servant. 

One day, nine robbers who infested the district, said to one another, 
" There is a holy man here who instructs all, and is very good-natured ; 
let us see what can be got from him." 

So they visited Keneth, and he hospitably entertained them. Now 
the men had left their spears outside, and Keneth's servant, coveting 
one, stole it, and when the robber asked for his lance, swore that he 
had not seen it. " Bring out the bosom-shaped bell, 2 and I will take 
oath on that." When the man had so forsworn himself he went mad, 
and ran away to Menevia, " where, at the time, David had his seat," 
and there inhabited remote localities, living like a wild beast, till the 
hair of his body completely clothed him. At the end of seven years, 
Keneth prayed for his restoration, and the man returned to his service 
a sincere penitent. Now it fell out that Morgan, prince of Glamorgan, 3 
came on a raid and swept together much plunder in the region where 
was Keneth. The hermit thereupon sent his servant with the woman- 
breasted bell to demand a share of the spoil. He met with a refusal 
and abuse. Then the plunderers began to quarrel among them- 
selves over the division of the spoil, came to blows, and many were 
killed. Morgan, attributing this disaster to the offence given to Keneth 
and disregard of the sanctity of his bell, went to him and offered 
compensation. He took him up a height and bade him accept as 
much ground as he desired. Keneth selected a certain amount up 
to a certain river, and this was granted to him for ever. 

It fell out that David, Teilo and Padarn were on their way, sum- 
moning the abbots and bishops of Wales to the Council of Llanddewi 
Brefi, and were hospitably received by Keneth. David requested 
him to attend the synod. 

" Observe my leg, I am a cripple, how can I go ? " answered Keneth. 
Then David prayed, and Keneth's contracted leg was relaxed, so that 
he could walk as any other man. This did not please Keneth, and he 
prayed, and at once up went his limb as before and the calf once again 

1 " Locus est denso arundinum tegmine circumseptus, quasi miliario uno 
distans. . . Carpens igitur sanctus viam . . . antequam ad locum ab angelo 
designatum devenisset, in locis ubi lassatus membra quiete fovebat, fontes 
viginti quatuor tellus in planiciem decurrentes eduxit." 

4 " Clocula mamillata." 

3 " Quidam princeps nomine Morgantius terrain, que nunc Glamorgantia 
dicitur, et terras affines usque fluvium Waiam suo habebat dominio." 

iio Lives of the. British Saints 

adhered to his thigh. Consequently he did not attend the Council of 

With this the story ends abruptly ; John of Tynemouth only adding 
that Keneth died on the Kalends of August. 

There are several points in this wonderful story that require con- 

1. The father is called Dihoc, prince of Letavia, i.e. Brittany. Pos- 
sibly Deroc is meant. This was the name of the father of Rhiwal, the 
first who established a principality in Domnonia, and who received 
S. Brioc. Rhiwal's son was also named Deroc, and he is supposed to 
have ruled from 520 to 533. * Dom Morice, however, but he is of no 
authority in such matters, conjectures that Dihoc stands for Dinot, son 
of Budic, who married Anauved, and thus was brother of S. Oudoceus 
and S. Ismael, the disciple of S. David. 2 That there existed such a 
Dinot is doubtful. He seems to have been thrust into the pedigree 
to serve as a hook upon which might be hung the fable of S. Ursula, 
as her father is called Dinothus (or Nothus), of which the Welsh form 
is Dunawd. 

2. King Arthur is said to have been holding his court at Goyr ; the 
place was apparently Aber Llychwr (hodie Lougher), the old Roman 
station Leucarum, said by tradition to have been the principal seat of 
Urien Rheged and his son Owen. 3 

3. The child, when born, was cast into a stream probably the Lliw 
is meant which carried it into the Lothur (Llwchwr), and thence into 
the sea, which swept the cradle up on the isle Henisweryn. There 
can hardly be a doubt that by Henisweryn the Worm's Head Island 
is intended. It is explained as meaning in Latin insula turbce. The 
name, however, is evidently compounded of Ynys and Gweryn, and 
the writer in his explanation took gwerin, i.e. turba, for gweryn, the 
worm or bot that breeds in the backs of cattle. It is also called in 
Welsh Pen y Pyrod, from pwr, a worm. Worm's Head, like Orme's 
Head, is to be derived from the Norse ormr, a worm or serpent, and 
is a rough translation of the Welsh name for the headland. The old 

1 De la Borderie, Hist, de Bretagne, i, p. 580. 

2 In the pedigree, Hist. Eccl. et Civile de Bretagne, Paris, 1750, also given by 
Deric and followed by Garaby. Tresvaux, in his additions to Lobineau, Les 
Saints de Bretagne, 1836, hesitates as to whether S. Quidi be Cenydd or Quinidius, 
Bishop of Vaison, d. 578. But how could the cult of a merely local Proven9al 
saint come to Brittany ? 

3 The Description of Pembrokeshire, by George Owen, edited by Henry Owen, 
D.C.L., where is a note (i, pp. 233-4) by Egerton Phillimore. A place called 
Cae'r Gynydd, possibly for Caer Gynydd, at Waunarlwydd, a few miles from 
Loughor, may preserve the name of the place where the saint was traditionally 

S. Cenyctd 1 1 1 

maps of Kip and Speed give a chapel of S. Kinetus near Worm's Head. 
The Burry Holmes, a little to the north, have also been suggested for 
Ynys Weryn. 

4. The name in John of Tynemouth's Life is Kynedus, Kinedus and 
Kenedus. Llangenydd occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv as Lann Cinith 
(p. 279). William of Worcester, in his Itinerary (p. 116), calls the Saint 
" Sanctus Keneth." Cenydd is a dialectic variant, like cebydd for 
cybydd, and Keneth is a mere English corruption. 1 
5. The story of the thieving disciple is made up from that of Elisha 
and Gehazi, and the madness of Nebuchadnezzar. 

6. Morgan, King of Morgamvg and Glywysing, is certainly an his- 
torical character. He murdered his uncle Frioc, 2 and had to expiate 
his crime by making grants to ecclesiastical foundations. His name 
occurs several times in the Book of Llan Ddv and in the Life of S. 
Cadoc. The legend unfortunately breaks off precisely where the 
fabulous matter might be supposed to end, and history to begin, with 
the foundation of a monastic settlement in Gower. 

Turning from this childish nonsense, we come to the more reliable 
information supplied by the Welsh genealogies. 

In reference to the Maen Cetti on Cefn y Bryn in Gower, split by 
the sxvord of S. David, the lolo MSS. 3 relate : " There is a church 
near, called Llanddewi, where they say the Saint was confessor, before 
he was consecrated bishop ; and it is the oldest church in Gower. 
When, moreover, he became a bishop in Caerleon on Usk, he placed a 
man named Cenydd ab Aneurin ab y Caw in his stead at Llanddewi, 
and that Cenydd erected a church called Llangennydd. A brother of 
his named Madog 4 erected the church of Llanmadog " (nowLlanma- 
dock, in the same deanery of West Gower). 

Again : 5 " Cenydd ab Gildas y Coed Aur ab y Caw Cawlwyd. 
His churches are Senghenydd (i.e. Caerphilly) in Glamorgan, where 
he founded a Choir, and there the castle of Senghenydd was after- 
wards erected. Another church of his is Llangenydd in Gower." 

Again : 6 " S. Cenydd ab Gildas y Coed Aur founded a Bangor at 
Llangennydd in Gower, and another in Senghennydd which was 
destroyed by the pagan English." 

Again : 7 " The sons of S. Gildas ab y Caw, called Euryn y Coed Aur 
Nwython, Dolgan, Cennydd, Gwynnaw, they were saints in the Choir 
of Illtyd (Llantwit Major), and in that of Catwg (Llancarfan), their 
kinsman. Cenydd founded a church and choir at Llangenydd in 

1 Owen, Pembrokeshire, i, p. 233. 2 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 152. 

3 P. 83. 4 For Madog, see under S. AIDAN. 5 lolo MSS., p. 102. 

* Ibid., p. 114. 7 Ibid., -p. 117. 

112 Lives of the British Saints 

Gower ; and another choir at Senghenydd. The latter was destroyed 
by the Infidel, and the present castle stands on its site." Again : 1 
Cenydd is given as the son of " Gildas ab y Caw, called Gildas y Coed 
Aur " ; and, " S. Ffili ab Cennydd ab y Coed Aur. He is in Gower." 

Once more : 2 " Ffili, son of Cennydd ab Aur y Coed Aur. His 
church is Rhos Ffili in Gower." This is Rhosilly, now dedicated to 
the Blessed Virgin. Caerphilly is supposed to be called after this son 
of Cenydd. 

Senghenydd is the name of the mountainous district, now repre- 
sented by the hundred of Caerphilly, with the town and castle of that 
name on its southern frontier. It has been generally supposed to 
stand for Sant or Saint Cenydd, but its earlier forms make this deriv- 
ation impossible. It occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv as Seghenid, and 
elsewhere under various forms, as Seghunit, Senghenith, Sainghenydd, 
etc. In Welsh historical writings it has often been confounded with 
Sein Henydd, the old name for Swansea Castle. 

SS.Tudwg, Rhidian and Madog (his brother) were among the members 
of Cenydd's Choir at Llangenydd. In Brut y Tywysogion, under the 
year 986, we read, " this year the Black Danes came up the Severn 
Sea in fleets and landed in Gower, where they burned Cor Cennydd 
and other of the churches." 3 

Among the " Sayings of the Wise " is one attributed to S. Cenydd 4 

Hast thou heard the saying of Cennydd, 
The son of Aneurin the skilful bard ? 
" None is free from anxiety but the good." 
(Nid diofal ond dedwydd.) 

To sum up what we derive from the Welsh authorities : Cenydd 
was the son of Gildas, who is identified with Aneurin, but not the 
Aneurin composer of the Gododin. He was himself a married man, 
and the father of S. Ffili. From other entries we know the name of 
another of his sons, Ufelwy or Ufelwyn. 5 He was, for a while, a 
member of the college of S. Illtyd, then of S. Catwg, and he was placed 
by S. David in charge of his foundation in Gower ; but afterwards 
he became an independent founder of a monastic establishment, or 

1 lolo MSS., p. 137. 

2 Ibid., p. 109. Cennit occurs in a list of the Abbots of Llantwit Major 
printed in the appendix to Williams' History of Monmouthshire, 1796, p. 50. 

3 Myv. Arch., p. 692. 

4 Ibid., p. 254. In four lists, pp. 109, 116, 142, Cenydd or Cennydd is given 
as a " son of Caw," but this should be -grandson, in the same way as several of 
the grandchildren of Brychan are called his sons and his daughters. In this 
" Saying " he is called " son of Aneurin the Bard." 

5 lolo MSS., pp. 1 1 8, 137. 


From Statue at Ploumelin. 

S. Cenydd 113 

Bangor, at Llangenydd, now generally Llangennith, also in Gower. 
The ruins of a chapel of S. Cenydd, at the new village of Senghenydd, 
are still pointed out, and there is a Bryn Cenydd or Cynydd at Caer- 

It was probably somewhere about 520 that Gildas l moved into 
Brittany and established himself at Ruys. Later, about 544-5, 
after he had launched his tract De excidio Britannia, there would seem 
to have been an exodus of his brothers and sons from Wales and Corn- 
wall, to escape the vengeance of the princes assailed by him in that 

Whether then, or later, we do not know, but at some time, both 
Cenydd and his sons seem to have been in Bro-weroc, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the settlements of Gildas, where they have left their mark. 

In Brittany Cenydd is called Kinede, Kidi, Quidi, Guidec and Kihouet. 

His most important settlement was at Languidic, 2 between Henne- 
bont and Baud, at no great distance from his father's foundation at 
Castanec. There the name is variously written as Kintic, Guindic 
and Guidic. Here are five avenues of upright stones, like those 
at Carnac, now called- " les soldats de S. Comely," but probably 
originally attributed to S. Kinede, and the tradition is that as they 
pursued the Saint, he cursed them and they were turned to stone. In 
the parish are several early Celtic Christian lechs or tombstones, one 
of which bears an inscription. Also, in the same commune is a Kervili, 
Caer-ffili, bearing the name of one of the sons of Cenydd. 3 

S. Cenydd has a chapel in the parish of Ploumelin, close to his father's 
monastery of Locmine. It is picturesquely situated on a granite rock 
in a hamlet, and is in the flamboyant style, cruciform, with a bell- 
turret to the north transept. A carved Calvary has fallen, and the 
remains strew the ground at the west end. Within is an early six- 
teenth century statue of the Saint as a hermit, bare-footed, holding 
a book in one hand and a staff in the other. A cowl is drawn over 
his head. 

At Plaintel also, near Quintin, in Cotes du Nord, he is patron, and 
there is a chateau in the place called after him, Saint Quihouet, now 
transformed into a hospital. It was formerly a house of the Knights 
Templars. Here is shown a stone trough, supposed to have been S. 

1 For the dates in the life of Gildas we must refer to our article on this Saint. 

2 In 1160 Languidec was called Lankintic ; in 1290 Languindic. Le Mene, 
Paroises du Diocese de Vannes, 1892, i, p. 408. 

3 Ibid., i, pp. 408-15. The lechs are sometimes menhirs with crosses and 
other Christian symbols cut on them ; but often quite distinct, round-headed 
stones. On one in Languidec is the inscription, Crax Harenbiuib Fil Heranhal. 
See on the Lechs, De la Borderie, Hist, de Bretagne, ii, p. 520. 


114 Lives of the British Saints 

Cenydd's bed, and frescoes represent his legend. Plaintel, again, 
is at no great distance from the Gildas settlements of Magoar and La 

Near Loudeac, in the same department, is S. Caradec, and here is 
a chapel of S. Quidi, with his statue in it, representing him as an abbot, 
staff in hand, and holding in the other an open book. 

Not far from S. Caradec is La Croix des Sept Chemins. The legend 
goes that seven brothers, SS. Gonery, Merhe, Connec, Derdanaon, 
Quidec, Geran and Joret embraced there, and separated to preach 
the Gospel throughout the land, and each founded a chapel in the 
direction that he took. 

All the seven brothers had been brought up by a doe. In remem- 
brance of this, annually, on the eve of the Pardon, in the chapel of 
S. Merhe in the parish of Kergrist-Neuillac (Morbihan) fresh straw is 
strewn in the porch, and the doe is supposed to pass the night there 
sleeping on it. 1 This is an extension to others of the legend of S. 
Cenydd, nourished by the doe. Who S. Merhe or Merec was is unknown ; 
the name seems to be a corruption of Meurig. Connec may be Cynog ; 
Geran is Geraint the great-grandfather of Cenydd ; Gonery is known, 
but not Derdanaon nor Joret. 

The sons of Cenydd have left some traces also in Brittany. 

S. Cenydd is given in Nicolas Roscarrock's Calendar on August i. 
This is the day also in Capgrave. The Pardon at S. Quidi is on the 
Sunday after August i. 

Garaby gives S. Kinede on August i, and a short sketch of his life. 
Whytford on August i, says : " In Englonde the feest of Saynt Kenede 
that was lame borne, and therefore he was cast in to a ryver whiche 
ryver caryed hym in to y e see, and y e see cast hym upon a rocke in 
to an ylelonde where he was fedde and brought up by an augel, and 
he was of singuler holynes and many wonderous myracles died in y e 
tyme of Saynt David." 

S. Cenydd's body was translated, and his translation kept on June 27. 
William of Worcester says : 2 " Translatio Sancti Kenneth here- 
mitae die 3 post nativitatem Sancti Johannis Baptistae ; jacet apud 
ecclesiam villae Sancti Keneth in Gowerland." But he tells us further 
that the Saint's relics were removed with those of SS. David and Teilo 
to North Wales. " Sanctus Davidicus de ecclesia Menevensi, Sanctus 
Thebaus (Teilo) de Llandaff sepultus. Sanctus Keneth de villa 
Keneth in Gowerland. Isti tres sancti et non plures sunt translati 
in North Wallia!" 

1 Oheix (R.), Les Saints inconnus, in Association Bretonne, 1880. 

2 Itin., p. 116. 

S. Cewydd 115 

S. Cenydd's day was observed in Llangennith on July 5, and was 
the greatest and most popular of all the Gower Mabsants or wakes. 
One of its peculiarities was the great quantity of what is called in 
Gower " milked meat," or " white pot," a mixture of flour and milk 
boiled together, that was consumed, probably in allusion to the 
bringing up of the Saint in infancy on the milk of a doe injected into 
a bell. This bell is said to have been called by the Welsh " Cloch 
Dethog," i.e. the Titty Bell. 

An ancient stone, with interlaced work on one side only, in the 
centre of the chancel floor of Llangennith church, has been supposed 
to mark the grave of the Saint. 1 

S. Caradog, at the close of the eleventh century went into Gower, 
and found there the church of S. Cenydd abandoned and desolate, and 
he cleared the sacred edifice of the brambles that had occupied it. 2 
It is probable, therefore, that the elevation or translation took place 
about this time. 

Whether Lesnewth church, in Cornwall, which is said by Ecton to 
have been dedicated to S. Knet, had originally Keneth or Cenydd 
as its founder, it is impossible to say. S. Michael is now considered 
the patron. The church, which was early Norman and of great interest, 
has been wantonly rebuilt in a most uninteresting manner. 



S. CEWYDD, Confessor 

CEWYDD was a son of Caw of Prydyn (Pictland), whose family, on 
being expelled their territory in North Britain, sought an asylum in 
Wales. His name occurs in most of the lists of Caw's children printed 

1 Davies (J. D.), West Gower, iii, pp. 104-6. Owen, in his Sanctorale Catho- 
Jicum, London, 1880, p. 331, enters Cenydd under August i. 

2 See under S, CARADOG. 

1 1 6 Lives of the British Saints' 

in the lolo MSS., where we are also told that he was a saint of Cor 
Catwg at Llancarfan, and one doubtful entry makes him the father 
of a S. Garrai of Llanarrai, i.e. Llanharry (now S. Illtyd) in Glamorgan- 
shire. x 

Local nomenclature to-day connects him more especially with 
Radnorshire. He is there the patron of two churches, Aberedw and 
Disserth, in the Deanery of Elwel. His name enters into place-names 
in two of the neighbouring parishes. There is a farm, Cil Cewydd 
(his retreat), in the parish of Llanfihangel Bryn Pabuan, and a moun- 
tain track above Llandilo Graban bears the name of Rhiw Gewydd 
(his hill-slope), over which he may have journeyed to visit his brother 
Meilig, or Maelog, at Llowes. 2 

To him was also dedicated the church of Llangewydd, near Bridgend, 
Glamorganshire, now extinct, but its site is still traceable in a field 
called Cae'r Hen Eglwys. In the fifteenth or sixteenth century tract 
on " The Winning of the Lordship of Glamorgan " by Sir Robert 
Fitzhamon and his Twelve Knights, in the eleventh century, it is 
stated that Sir Richard Grenville, one of the Knights, brought with 
him from the Holy Land " a famous Sarasin that was turned Christian, 
Lales, a curious 'man in masonry . . . which Lales built the Town of 
Laleston a goodly place, and pulled down the Church of Langewydd 
and moved it to his new Town of Laleston." 3 . The church, now 
dedicated to S. David, is subject to Newcastle. 

The Lann Ceuid (translated Podum Ceuid) of the Book of Llan 
Dav 4 is believed by Mr. Egerton Phillimore 5 to be the Landcawet of 
the grant cited in Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus, iii, p. 450, the modern 
Lancaut, on the Wye near Chepstow. Cewydd (as Cewi, like Dewi 
for Dewidd) is also perhaps found in Kewstoke, North Somerset ; ia 
Cusop, anciently Ceushope, near Hay ; and in Capel Cawey, 6 an extinct 
" capella peregrinationis causa erecta," in the parish of Monachlog 
Ddu, Pembrokeshire. Steynton church, in the same county, is given 
as dedicated to a S. Cewyll, afterwards S. Peter, by whom may possibly 
be intended Cewydd. Cwm Cewydd is the name of one of the town- 

1 Pp. 107, 109, 117, 136, 142. Cewydd means the son of Caw. The Gaulish 
/os termination is patronymic. Cewydd Ynad was one of the laymen appointed 
to compile the Welsh Laws. 

2 Arch. Camb., 1888, p. 270. 

3 Powell, History of Wales, ed. 1584, pp. 124-41 ; Cardiff Records, 1903, iv, 
pp. 10, 17. According to Caradog of Llancarfan's Brut (Myv. Arch., p. 705) Lales 
removed the church to Trelalys (Laleston) about 1 1 1 1. It is a doubtful story, as 
Laleston was named after the family of Lageles (G. T. Clark, Cartes, iii, p. 423 ).. 
The church may be the " Eccl. de Landewddith " of the Norwich Taxatio, 1254^ 

4 Pp. 166, 175. 

5 Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 189. ' Ibid., i, pp. 96, 509. 

S. Cewydd 117 

ships of the parish of Llanymawddwy, Merionethshire, so called from 
the brook Cewydd. 

Cewydd is the Welsh Rain-Saint, and used to be credited with 
determining the weather for the period of forty days, according as it 
rained or otherwise on his festival. The Rainy Saint in England is 
S. Swithun, July_i5 ; in France, S. Medard, June 8, and SS. Gervais 
and Protais, June 19 ; in Belgium, S. Godelieve, July 6 ; in Germany, 
the Seven Sleepers, June 27 ; and in the Tyrol the sainted Queen 
Margaret of Scotland, called " Wetter Frau," June 10. Cewydd is 
to-day superseded in Wales by S. Swithun, but he is still sometimes 
popularly alluded to in Glamorganshire as " Hen Gewydd y Gwlaw " 
(Old Cewydd of the Rain). No tradition remains to tell us how he 
became the Welsh S. Swithun. The idea is probably derived from 
some general pre-Christian belief regarding the meteorologically 
prophetic character of some day about that period of the year. 

The festival of S. Cewydd occurs as July i in the Calendar in the lolo 
MSS. (" Cewydd y Glaw ") ; as the 2nd (the day on which S. Swithun 
died) in the Calendars in Additional MS. 14,912 ("Gwyl Gewe ") and 
Jesus College MS. 22 (" Gwyl y Glaw ") ; and as the i5th (Translation 
of S. Swithun) in the Calendar in Peniarth MS. 40. At Disserth his 
Wake was held on the first Sunday after S. Swithun's Day, 1 and at 
Aberedw in the second week in July. 2 

Chancellor Silvan Evans, in an article in Y Brython for 1859, 3 says 
that in many parts of South Wales July 15 was popularly called 
Dygwyl Gewydd (or rather, Dygwyl Gawe, as uttered), and that it 
was generally believed that if it rained on that day it would rain for 
forty days in succession. Generally throughout North Wales that 
distinction belonged rather to S. Peter's Day. He adds that it was 1 1 
the popular belief in Dyfed, or South-west Wales, that the Deluge 
began on July 15, lasting for forty days. 

Lewis Glyn Cothi (fifteenth century), in an elegy on Morgan the 
son of Sir David Gam, 4 says that at his death Breconshire would shed 
tears, which, for profusion, would be like the rainfall on S. Cewydd's 
Festival, which lasted for forty successive days. 

Among the proverbial triplets, the " Sayings of the Wise," occurs 
one attributed to S. Cewydd 5 

Hast them heard the saying of S. Ce\^dd 
To his numerous relatives ? 
" There is no true friend but the Lord." 
(Xid car cywir ond Dofydd.) 

1 Arch. Camb., 1858, p. 603. * Ibid., 1888, p. 271. 3 Pp. 153-4. 

4 Gwaith L. G. C., Oxford, 1837, p. 5. 5 lolo MSS., p. 254. 

1 1 8 Lives of the British Saints 

S. CIAN, Confessor 

LLANGIAN CHURCH, under Llanbedrog, in Carnarvonshire, was 
founded by S. Peris, in conjunction with S. Cian, his servant. They 
are both commemorated on December n. 1 Browne Willis gives 
Llangian as well as Llanberis as dedicated to S. Peris, with festival 
on that day. 2 

A Cian is mentioned incidentally in the Black Book of Carmarthen, 
the Book of Aneurin, and the Book of Taliessin, from which it may be 
gathered that he was a warrior and bard 3 ; but the name was at that 
time rather a common one, especially in Irish. As a common noun 
the name means " a puppy." 

S. CIANAN (KENAN), Priest, Confessor 

CIAN AN was a disciple of S. Jaoua (Joevin), nephew of Paul of Leon, 
and probably accompanied him from Morganwg to Armorica. He was 
with him for some years at Landevenec under the Abbot Judual. 4 

He is not, however, named among the disciples of S. Paul in the list 
given in the Life of that Saint by Wormonoc. 5 

When, about 567, Jaoua was raised to the episcopate on the retire- 
ment of his uncle, he summoned his friend Cianan to him, and ordained 
him priest. He sent him to reside at Plou-cernau, now Plouguerneau, 
a plebs of Cornish settlers. 

After a while Jaoua was entreated to return to a monastery, over 
which for a while he had been head at Daoulas, to remove a blight 
that had fallen on the crops after his departure, and he probably took 
his friend with him. On his way back, Jaoua sickened and died, and 
was ministered to in his last moments by his disciple. According to 
the legend of S. Jaoua, Cianan was at Plou-cernau, but knew by 
revelation that his friend and master was ill, and so went to him. It 

1 Cambrian Register, 1818, iii, p. 225 ; Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 302. 

2 Survey of Bangor, pp. 272, 275. 

3 Skene, Four Ancient^Books, ii, pp. 32, 65, 101, 130. The author of the 
eighth century Genealogta, attributed to Nennius, mentions Cian, a bard dis- 
tinguished "in poemate Britannico " (see Stephens, Gododin, pp. 159-60, and 
Literature of the Kymry, p. 201). The Cian of Nant Nimer, now Nevern, whose 
death is recorded in the Annales Cambrics, s.a. 865, is too late. A cleric of the 
name occurs as witness to a grant in the Book of Llan Ddv, p. 174, during the 
episcopate of Bishop Berthwyn. 

4 Colgan, Acta SS. Hib., p. 413. 5 Vita S. Pauli Leonensis, ed. Plaine, p. 28. 

S. Ciaran 119 

is more probable that he accompanied Jaoua to Daoulas, and was 
with him on his return journey when he sickened. 1 

We know nothing more about him. Canon O'Hanlon, in reference 
to him, quotes Thomas de Hibernia, who says that Cianan resembled 
Ruth, who, having no field of her own, was content to glean in those 
of Boaz the ears which the reapers left behind them. 2 

Cianan is to be distinguished from Cianan of Duleek, and Kenan or 
S. Kea, the latter of whom worked in Armorica. 

He does not seem to have received any cult in Brittany. Colgan 
supposed that he was the same as a namesake found in the Irish 
Martyrologies on February 25, without any particulars as to where 
he lived. 

In the Llanthony Abbey Calendar (Corpus Christi Coll., Oxford, 
cod. 197) Kynan, Confessor, is entered on November 24 ; but this is 
Cianan of Duleek. (See further under S. Kenan.) 

S. CIARAN (PIRAN), Abbot, Bishop, Confessor 

THE authorities for the Life of Ciaran of Saighir are 
A Latin Life in the Salamanca Codex of the Lives of the Irish Saints, 
Acta 55. Hibern., Edinburgh, 1888, pp. 805-18 ; the same in Ada 
55. Boll., Mart, i, pp. 394-9. Another from the Codex Kilkeniensis, 
in Colgan, Acta 55. Hibern., i, p. 458 et seq. 

The Latin Lives are derived from, and are condensations of an 
early, probably Irish, Life. This early Life is supposed to have been 
composed either before the devastation of Saighir by the Northmen 
in 842, or that by the men of Munster in 952 ; after which latter it 
remained desolate for twenty years. In one of these plunderings of 
Saighir, Ciaran's bell, called Barcon Ciaran, was cracked, and thence- 
forth was called Bearnan Ciaran. In the Irish Lives, the bell bears 
its first name, and moreover in them is no mention of the destruction 
of the monastery, either by the Norse or by the men of Munster. In 
846 Cormac the Scribe became Abbot of Saighir, and it has been 
supposed that he had composed the Life before the Northmen raided 
and plundered the Abbey. 

1 Acta SS. Boll., S. Jaoua, 2 March, i, p. 138 ; after the lections in the 
Breviary of Leon. Also the Life of S. Jaoua from the same lections in Albert le 
Grand, new ed., 1901, pp. 52-6. 

z Lives of the Irish Saints, ii, p. 699. 

i 2 o Lives of the British Saints 

A fragmentary Irish Life is in Egerton MS. 91. Another, a 
transcript made in 1758 by John Murphy of Carrignaver, in Cork, is 
among the MSS. of the Royal Irish Academy ; and another in the 
Egerton MS. 112. It has been printed in the Silva Gadhelica, 
1891 ; also by Mulcahy, Life of S. Kiaran the Elder of Seir, Dublin, 
1895. A Latin Life by John of Tynemouth is in Capgrave's Nova 
Legenda Anglice, as Vita Sti. P Irani. 

The original basis of all these Lives was probably The Migrations 
of Ciaran, attributed to his scribe, Cairnech the Bald, a book long 
preserved at Saighir. The glossator on the Felire of Oengus says that 
it existed in his day, and that it was a book of wondrous writing, with 
many gressa (illuminations ?) and with the colophon " Let everyone 
who shall read it give a blessing to the soul of Cairnech the Bald." l 

A work on S. Ciaran by John Hogan, S. Ciaran, Patron of Ossory, 
Kilkenny, 1876, deserves notice. It is an ingenious attempt to show 
that Ciaran preceded S. Patrick in Ireland. His calculations are based 
mainly on the early genealogies. By allowing thirty years for a 
generation and taking Ciaran as tenth in descent from Oengus Osraighe, 
he gives 375 as the date of Ciaran's birth. 

But in order to arrive at this, some serious assumptions have to be 
made ; as that A.D. 105 was the true date of Oengus Osraighe, and next 
that the pedigree is complete, and that there are no blanks in it. 

The period at which the saint lived has been confused by interested 
persons for a definite object. At the beginning of the eleventh century, 
perhaps as late as the twelfth, a desire manifested itself among the 
chieftains of Munster to have an archbishop of their own ; and to give 
colour to a demand for one, it was pretended that there had been 
four bishops in the South of Ireland before the arrival of S. Patrick, 
and these were Ciaran, Ailbe, Declan and Ibar. Something to this 
effect was accordingly foisted into their Lives. This naturally produced 

According to the garbled Life, at the age of thirty he went to Rome, 
where he was ordained by Pope Celestine (422-30), after he had 
spent twenty years in Rome. This would throw his birth back to 
about 376 or 378. But Ciaran was allowed to make his foundations 
by Aengus MacNadfraich, who fell in battle 489. He was visited 
at Saighir by Lugaidh, son of Laogaire, who ruled from 483 to 506, 
and he was the associate of saints who belonged to the close of the 
fifth century. The Martyrologist of Donegal, confronted with these 
difficulties, extricated himself by fabling that Ciaran lived to the age 

iYe of Oengus, ed. Stokes, p. Ixii. 





S. Ciaran i 2 i 

of 360 years, 1 which was indeed a liberal and quite unnecessary allow- 

In order to understand the history of S. Ciaran, it is necessary for us 
briefly to consider the limits and condition of the old kingdom of 
Ossory. This kingdom anciently occupied the entire tract of land 
between the Suire, the Barrow and the Slieve Bloom Mountains. 
The name signifies the land between the waters. The Nore flows 
through it, and all three rivers unite in Waterford Harbour. 

It is a district that comprises three extensive plains, separated 
from each other by ranges of mountains. Northernmost is the Magh 
(plain) Airget Ros, extending approximately through the present 
Queen's County. The second plain is Magh Reighna, bounded in 
the north by the Thornback range, and in the south by the Dundergh 
mountains. It is roughly represented by the county of Kilkenny. 
This communicates by the " Wind Gap " with Magh Feimhin in 
Tipperary, a wide plain in which rises the Rock of Cashel. 

From a century before the Christian era the kings of Munster claimed 
a fine from the kings of Leinster, called the Eric of Eidersceal, to be 
levied annually on the" two southern plains of Ossory. The enforce- 
ment of this fine proved a fruitful source of feuds down to the end of 
the tenth century. 

The Ossorians attempted to shake off the burden in the second 
century. They were assisted by Lughaid Laoghis, from Leinster ; 
but, as a price for his aid, were forced to surrender a portion of the 
northern plain between the Nore and the Barrow, which was formed 
into the little kingdom of Leix, under the suzerainty of Leinster. 

Another cession of land took place later, when a slice was yielded 
up to the Hy Bairrche. 

Next, Core, King of Munster, abandoned the old royal seat at Knock 
Grafton, and seized on the Rock of Cashel in Magh Feimhin, com- 
manding the whole plain. At the same time he re-demanded the 
payment of the hated tax. At this time Ruman Duach was king of 
Ossory, and he was founder of the Hy Duach, a sub-clan of the royal 
race of the Hy Connla. 

Core of Munster, who died in 420, was succeeded by his grandson, 
Aengus MacNadfraich, who was converted to the faith by S. Patrick 
about fifty years later. 

Before 470 a struggle had been undertaken by the Ossorians to free 
their country from subjection to Munster ; but with the most disastrous 
effects. From Cashel Aengus poured his forces over Magh Feimhin^ 

1 Todd, Life of 5. Patrick, 1864, pp. 198-221. 

122 Lives of the British Saints 

at the same time that his kinsman Cucraidh burst into the two other 
plains and overran them. A series of battles ensued. The Ossorians 
were driven out of one plain after another, and Aengus constituted 
of the two plains, Magh Airget Ros and Magh Reighna, an Ossorian 
kingdom which he gave up to Cucraidh, to be held under the over- 
lordship of Munster ; and he swept all the Ossorians out of Magh 
Feimhin and delivered it over to the Southern Deisi of Waterford,. 
to repeople and to hold as their own. 1 

The date of this high-handed proceeding is given in the Chronicon 
Scottorum as 445. 

Most of the royal race of Ossory were slaughtered, but Lughaidh,. 
grandson of Ruman Duach, was spared, and sent among the Corca 
Laoighe, his wife's family, in the south, on the sea-board of the present 
county of Cork from Cork to Bantry Bay. It was precisely from 
this district that Cucraidh, the usurper of Ossory, came. Lughaidh 
could be safely kept and watched among the people of Cucraidh's 
own clan, the Corca Laoighe. His brothers were forced to embrace 
the ecclesiastical profession, so as to incapacitate them from becoming 
claimants for the confiscated crown. They were suffered for a while 
to have churches in the Hy Duach (Odagh) country. 

In exile, Lughaidh lived with his wife Liadhain, daughter of Maine 
Cerr, related to Aengus and to Cucraidh, and it was due to this that 
his life was spared. He seems to have been sent to Inis Cliar, now 
Clear Island, the southernmost point of Ireland, as a further pre- 
caution against his giving trouble. Here Ciaran was born, and was 
given to be nursed by an exile, Cuach of the Clan Cliu, and she was a 
Christian ; she formed his young mind, and instilled into his heart the 
love and fear of God. We are hardly wrong in attributing to her the 
giving of direction to Ciaran's whole after life (see S. CIWA). 

Cuach returned with her tribe from exile in 458 or thereabouts. 
Ciaran's birth cannot be fixed with certainty. It might have taken 
place as early as 438, when the Clan Cliu were exiled, or it may have 
taken place somewhat later. 

We are told in his Life that Ciaran did not leave Ireland till thirty 
years old, and he was not then baptized ; and we are informed that he 
remained twenty years abroad. 2 

1 The Expulsion of the Dessi, by Prof. Kuno Meyer ; in Y Cymmrodor, xiv 
(1901) ; O'Flaherty, Ogygia, ii, p. 243 ; Hogan, 5. Ciaran ; Keating, History of 
Ireland, etc. 

2 " Permansit itaque ibidem per annos xxti.," Vita in Cod. Sal., col. 806.. 
In this Life his age before leaving Ireland is not given. The Irish Life says : 
" Thirty years did Ciaran spend in Erin . . . before he was baptized," Life, ecL 
Mulcahy, p. 31. 

S. Ciaran 123 

Whither he went we do not know, for all the story of his expedition 
to Rome and ordination by Pope Celestine must be dismissed as 
unhistorical. Probably he visited Cornwall and Armorica, whither, 
apparently, many Ossorians had fled when Aengus devastated Magh 
Feimhin, and gave it up to the Deisi. 

If we are to believe the author of the Irish Life, Ciaran was aged 
fifty when he returned to Ireland. He is spoken of as a disciple of 
S. Finnian of Clonard. Finnian died in 548, and Clonard was founded 
in 464. If Ciaran were at any time with him, he cannot have spent 
so many as twenty years on the Continent, or cannot have been so 
old as thirty when he went abroad. 

Probably Ciaran returned to Ireland in 474, l and went first to his 
native island of Inis Cliar, for a church and cross are shown there 
that bear his name, or he may have attempted to settle at Rath 
Ciaran in Kilkenny, as this place bears his name. But he was very 
quickly summoned to the presence of Aengus MacNadfraich, King 
of Munster. A son of Ere MacDuach, one of his own kinsmen, perhaps 
the son of Ere his uncle, son of Ruman Duach, and therefore his first 
cousin, had maliciously 'killed a horse belonging to S. Patrick, whilst 
the Saint was visiting Aengus. The king, not sorry for an excuse to 
deal sharply with one of the family of the Hy Duach, obtained his 
arrest, and declared his intention of putting him to death. Ciaran 
interceded for his kinsman, and undertook to pay the eric or legal 
fine for the horse. When, however, he endeavoured to raise the 
money, he found it impossible to collect the sum required. He was 
happily succoured by accident. Aengus caught a chill that settled 
in his eyes, producing acute inflammation. He at once concluded 
that Ciaran had " ill-wished " him, and in a panic sent for him, made 
peace, released the man who had killed the horse, and remitted the 
fine. 2 

However, Aengus would not suffer Ciaran to settle and make a 
foundation in the land of his fathers, and the saint wandered off to a 
place just beyond the confines of the intrusive Cucraidh. It was a 
spot near the centre of Ireland, on the boundary between the northern 
and southern divisions of Ireland, but on the Munster side. This, 
Seir-Ciaran or Saighir, is now a small village in the barony of Ballybritt, 
in King's County, not far from the north-western extremity of the 
Slieve Bloom Mountains. 

1 This is the date as near as can be determined of the meeting of S. Patrick and 
Aengus, and the conversion and baptism of the latter. Shearman, Loca Patri- 
ciana, 1882, p. 453. 

2 Vita in Cod. Sal., coll. 810-1 ; Life in Colgan, p. 460. 

124 Lives of the British Saints 

In the legend, as afterwards elaborated, it was a spot to which 
Patrick, whom he had met abroad, had bidden him repair, and where 
was the well of Uaran, probably one to which sanctity attached in 
pagan times. 

According to the story, Ciaran began by occupying a cell in the 
midst of a wood, living as a hermit, and his first disciples were a boar, 
a fox, a badger, a wolf and a doe. Happily we are able to unravel this 
fable. One of his pupils was S. Sinnach, of the clan of the Hy Sin- 
nach, or the Foxes, in Teffia, near Saighir. Another may have been a 
member of the Broc tribe in Munster. Os (doe) was unquestionably an 
Ossorian disciple. S. Ciaran's wolf was none other than his uncle Laig- 
hniadh Faeladh. But faeladh has a double meaning, it is " hospitable," 
as well as " wolfish." There is a Kiltorcan, which must have been 
founded by a Tore (boar), another pupil. By this we can see how 
marvels were developed out of simple facts. 1 

S. Ciaran induced his mother, Liadhain, to found a religious house 
for women at Killeen, not far from Saighir. " A maiden came to 
Ciaran, and he made her a Christian, and a true servant of God ; and 
Ciaran constructed for her a little honourable cell near to the monastery, 
and he gathered other holy virgins around her." Who this damsel 
was we are not informed in the text, but it would seem to have been 
Liadhain, a namesake of his mother, and a granddaughter of Cucraidh, 
who afterwards became abbess. 

Saighir, the name of Ciaran's monastery, is explained in the gloss on 
the Festilogium of Oengus as " nomen fontis '' ; and there can be 
little doubt that such was the ancient orthography, Saig being the 
proper name, and uar, cool, the descriptive epithet. The injunction 
already referred to, given by Patrick to Ciaran, when they met on the 
Continent, was 

Saig the Cold, 

Erect a city on its brink, 

At the end of thirty revolving years 

Then shall I and thou meet. 2 

The same inference may be drawn from the words of the first Latin 
Life of the saint printed by Colgan, " Adi fontem qui vocatur 
Fuaran " ; whilst the immediate import of the word is fixed in the 
Tripartite Life, " Huaran enim, sive Fuaran, idem Hibernis sonat 
quod Fons vivus, sive viva vel frigida aqua e terra scaturiens." 

The cell erected by Ciaran was of the humblest materials ; its walls 
of wicker-work, its roof of dried grass. 3 

1 Hogan, Life of S. Ciaran, pp. 124-6. 2 Tripartite Life, i, p. 77. 

3 The boar collects for the Saint " virgas et fenum ad materiam cellae 


S. Ciaran 125 

Rapidly, however, the monastery grew in size, as disciples came to 
Ciaran from every quarter. In the treasury was a miraculous bell 
bestowed by S. Patrick on Ciaran, and which the apostle of Ireland 
had prophesied should remain mute until the latter arrived at the 
place designated as the site of his future resurrection. This bell, 
which was called " Bardan Kierani," had been made under the inspec- 
tion of Germanus, the Gallican instructor of Patrick. It was extant,, 
and held in high veneration at Saighir, when the first Life of Ciaran 
was written ; it was also universally honoured throughout Ossory, 
being carried to the treaties of princes, sworn on for the defence of the 
poor, and used to sanction the collection of the tribute due to the 
monastery by the people of Ossory. The Paschal fire was lighted 
every Easter and kept burning during the entire year. 

Ciaran was given a pupil, Carthach, son, or more probably grandson, 
of Aengus MacNadfraich, and who succeeded Ciaran as abbot. It is 
difficult to resist the conclusion that this was due to an arrangement 
arrived at by Ciaran with the king of Munster and the usurper of 
Ossory. Aengus agreed to allow Ciaran to organize the religious 
communities on the Ossorian frontier, on condition that his son or 
grandson should be made coarb ; and that when he had arrived at a 
suitable age, Ciaran should resign in his favour. In like manner 
Cucraidh sent his granddaughter to Killeen on the stipulation that 
she was to succeed there. By this arrangement it \vas provided 
that the headships of the two great ecclesiastical and educational 
establishments for Ossory should pass ultimately into the hands 
of scions of the usurpers. 

Carthach, who was thrust upon Ciaran, gave him much trouble. 
He carried on an amour with one of the young pupils of Liadhain's 
establishment ; and when Cuach, Ciaran's nurse, had either succeeded 
Liadhain at Killeen, or had founded another convent close by, Carthach 
carried on the same game with one of her damsels. At length the 
scandal became so flagrant that Ciaran advised Carthach to travel 
and sow his wild oats at Rome. S. Itha said of this escapade 

Carthach will come to you, 

A man who exalts Faith ; 

A son will be born to Carthach, 

Who will do no credit to his parentage. 1 

A damsel named Bruinech the Slender was with Liadhain at Killeen. 
She inspired Dioma, chief of the Hy Fiachach tribe in West Meath, 
with a violent passion, and he carried her off. The story has already 
been told (see S. BURIENA). 

1 Filire of Oengus, ed. Stokes, p. Ix. 

126 Lives of the British Saints 

The relation in which Ciaran stood to S. Patrick is uncertain. That 
the sons of Ere, Ciaran's cousins, did steal his horses, we are told in 
the Life of S. Patrick, as also that he cursed them for so doing. 1 
There is, however, no mention in it of the intervention of Ciaran. 
Why they showed such hostility to the great apostle we are not in- 
formed. There exists a popular tradition among the natives of 
Ossory that Ciaran and Patrick were not on good terms, and that 
when they met Ciaran refused to salute Patrick. The tradition 
may be worthless. One thing, however, is clear, the apostle did 
encounter carping criticism and disparagement of his work on the 
part of some fellow workers, and his " Confession " was written to 
disarm this opposition. 

In the Life of S. Ciaran we read that King Aengus went with 
S. Patrick to Saighir, twenty years after Ciaran and Patrick had met 
abroad, and Ciaran slaughtered eight oxen and broached so many 
casks of wine that it was said he must have turned the water of his 
well into wine to furnish so much good liquor. 

Aengus, no doubt, did visit Saighir at some time before 480 ; and 
it was between 480 and 490 that Patrick wrote his " Confession." 
It is possible enough that he may have visited Saighir and have met 
with a cool reception. There exists jealousy even among the best of 
men, and Ciaran may have thought that Patrick was taking too much 
upon him in trying to extend his influence in Munster. 

Whether on this occasion or on another we do not know, but eight 
of King Aengus's harpers or bards were laid hold of and concealed 
in a bog. It is likely that the abduction was committed by some of 
the Meic Duach, who did not relish hearing the bards sing exaggerated 
accounts of the achievements of the victor, who had expelled them 
from the heritage of their fathers. Aengus took the matter in this 
light, sent for Ciaran, and stormed and threatened. Ciaran was able 
to appease his resentment only by recovering for him the eight men, 
who had been kept in concealment in an inaccessible fortress sur- 
rounded by morass. In the Life this was developed into a resusci- 
tation of the bards from the dead. In the Irish Life we are told that 
Aengus consulted Ciaran about his harpers, because, having become 
a Christian, he did not like to consult a Druid. 

There is, however, another way of reading this story. The harpers 
had been actually murdered, and all Ciaran did was to discover their 
bodies. In the south-west of the county of Kilkenny and on the 
borders of Munster is the church of Tullaghought, the Cill of the 
Tomb of the Eight, which may or may not represent the place of the 
1 Tripartite Life, i, p. 109. 

S. Ciaran 127 

sepulchre of these bards. But against this is the statement in the 

Life, that the murder took place in M^skerry Tir^, which is close to U/ 

Saighir. 1 ( / 

One autumn day Ciaran noticed a magnificent bank of blackberries, 
so large and luscious that, to preserve them from rain and frost, he 
threw his mantle over it. 

Now it fell out that Aengus and his wife Ethne Uatach, or " the 
Odious," at whose instigation Aengus had expelled the Ossorians 
and planted the Deisi on their lands, arrived on a visit to Cucraidh, 
the usurper, in his dun. Ethne was daughter of Crimthan and 
granddaughter of Enna Cinnselach, who had banished the Clan Cliu, 
and with it Cuach, Ciaran's nurse. She was the second wife of Aengus, 
who by this time was an old man, and she was young ; had, in fact, 
been married to him whilst still a girl. A prophecy had been made 
to the Deisi, so says legend, that the man who should marry Ethne, 
who was being fostered among them, would give them wide and fertile 
lands to colonise. So they fed her on the flesh of infants to ripen her 
, early. 2 This is the bitter comment of the Ossorians on her conduct 
in goading on her uxorious husband to invade Magh Feimhin and 
expel the Ossorians. What is true is that, when she married Aengus, 
mindful of her obligations to the Deisi of Waterford, she urged her 
husband to the wanton invasion of Ossory, and the colonizing of the 
land by the Deisi after he had driven out the natives. 

When the royal pair arrived at the residence of Cucraidh, they were 
well received, and Ethne conceived a criminal passion for her host. 
This put Cucraidh in difficulties. He had no desire to embroil 
himself with his over-king ; and in his dilemma he sent for Ciaran, who 
arrived, bringing with him a basket of the blackberries he had preserved 
from the frost, as a present to the queen. 3 

The legend writer, so as to distort a very ordinary fact into a marvel, 
pretends that the season was Easter. It is far more probable that 
it was Samhain, the great feast and visiting time on November i. 
Partaking of the fruit served the purpose of cooling the queen's irregular 
desires, probably by upsetting her stomach, which blackberries out of 
season are notoriously liable to do ; whence the popular saying that 
blackberries after Michaelmas Day belong to the devil. 

The incident occurred after Saighir was well established, and prob- 
ably not before 480. Ethne Uatach and her husband fell in the battle 

1 Colgan, from the Kilkenny Book, p. 460 ; 7mA Life, ed. Mulcahy, pp. 40-1. 

2 The Courtship of Ethne Uatach, in O'Curry's Lectures on the MS. Materials 
of Irish History, p. 586. 

3 Much the same story is told of S. Cyndeyrn. 

128 Lives of the British Saints 

of Kelliston in 489, and, according to the Life, Aengus was succeeded 
by his son Ailill. But the Book of Leinster and MacFirbis do not name 
him ; they make Eochaidh succeed, who reigned thirty years and died 
519, or, according to the Four Masters, 523. But it is possible that 
Ailill may have had a brief and uneventful reign or may have been 
associated with his brother Eochaidh. 

A gloss in the Lebhar Brecc on the Felire of Oengus thus describes 
the monastic establishment at Saighir. " Numerous were his cattle. 
There were ten doors for his kine, and ten stalls at every door, and 
ten calves at each stall, and ten cows to every calf. . . . Moreover, 
there were fifty docile horses for the tilling and ploughing the ground. 
And this was Ciaran's meal every night a little bit of barley bread, 
and two roots of Mitrathach, and water from the spring. Skins of 
fawns were his raiment, and a wet hair-cloth over these. He ever 
slept on a pillow of stone." x 

The gloss is late, but it represents the tradition that Saighir was 
or became a large place, and that the head of it lived abstemiously. 

Cairnech the Bald was Ciaran's scribe. We have no means of saying 
whether he were the Carannog whose life as Carantocus we possess, 
and who is said to have founded a church in Cornwall ; but it is a 
significant fact that Crantock adjoins S. Ciaran's foundation of Peran- 
zabuloe. Cairnech wrote books for Ciaran that were long preserved 
at Saighir, and among them a record of Ciaran's travels. 2 

Situated as Saighir was on the confines of Munster and Meath, it 
was liable to be ravaged in times of war. We hear of the king of 
Ireland, probably Lugaidh, 3 son of Laoghaire (483-506), marching 
against Ailill, King of Munster, and camping on the north side of the 
river Brosnach, and Ailill was encamped on the Munster side, on 
Ciaran's land. 

Happily so much rain had fallen on Slieve Bloom that the river was 
in flood, and this interfered with military operations. Ciaran took 
advantage of the occasion to pass over the stream in his coracle, and 
to negotiate a suspension of hostilities. This must have taken place 
shortly after 489. 

Lugaidh had not embraced Christianity, and he favoured the re- 
action which was setting in against the new faith. When he died by 
a flash of lightning, it was boldly asserted by the Saints that this was 
due to the vengeance of Heaven for his obstinate paganism. 

He was succeeded by the turbulent Murtagh MacErca, who had 

1 FUire, ed. Stokes, pp. Ixi-ii. 2 Ibid., p. Ixii. 

3 John of Tynemouth gives his name as Loigair, but Laogaire died in 463. 

S. Ciaran 129 

been mixed up in internecine war in Ireland ever since his return from 
Britain in 488. His name does not occur in the Life of S. Ciaran. 
He reigned from 508 to 533. 

As Saighir grew in importance, and its daughter establishments 
increased, it became inevitably a resort for all the discontented and 
disaffected of Ossory. Members of the Hy Duach took refuge within 
its territory or enjoyed the privileges of sanctuary. Ciaran had, 
moreover, extended his authority north, over the Hy Fiachach, and 
the king of Munster and the intrusive king of Ossory perceived that 
Saighir was a danger to them. This, we can hardly doubt, was the 
primary cause of Ciaran abandoning his foundation and quitting 
Ireland. Carthagh had returned from his travels, and it might be 
hoped had mended his morals ; and Liadhain, the younger, had grown 
up and was capable of governing a convent. 

Although we are not told that Ciaran received an order to quit and 
make room for Carthagh, we cannot hesitate in admitting that it was 

We are informed that Ciaran expressed pleasure at the return of 
Carthagh, which we are disposed to doubt. The Martyrology of Donegal 
says that "Ciaran dedicated his congregation to God and to Carthagh,'' 
that is to say he surrendered the abbacy to him. 

It was probably now that Ciaran quitted Ireland and made his 
settlements in Cornwall. 

He addressed those whom he left behind as follows : " My brethren 
and dearest sons, by Divine disposal it behoves me to quit Ireland 
and to seek Cornwall and there await my end. It is not in my power 
to resist the will of God. I exhort you, brothers, build up this place 
by good works and good example, for those who will come will be sons 
of perdition and death. There will come mortality and wars ; the 
churches will be destroyed and deserted, and truth will be converted 
into iniquity. Faith will not shine in good works, the pastors will 
look to themselves rather than the sheep, feeding themselves in pre- 
ference to their flocks. I beseech you, brethren, pray to God that my 
journey may not be dark, and lest after my death I should find my 
Lord wroth, but rather merciful and placable and glad, when I appear 
before His face." 

This is found only in John of Tynemouth's Life of S. Piran ; it is 
not in any of the Irish Lives. It is obviously an addition after the 
destruction of Saighir. When Ciaran left Ireland he took his pupil 
Bruinech with him, as also, if we are correct in our identification of 
S. Kew with Cuach, then his faithful foster-mother as well, to organize 
the female education in Cornwall, where already many Ossorian 

130 Lives of the British Saints 

families were settled. His mother was dead, we judge, as there is no 
trace left of her presence in Cornwall. But a companion, Medhran, 
accompanied Ciaran, and Medhran's brother is probably the Saint of 
Lanhydroc (see SS. MADRON and HYDROC). 

The Irish hagiographers have nothing to tell us about the close of 
the life of S. Ciaran. 1 The Lives terminate abruptly, and his name 
does not occur after about 480 in the accounts we have of contem- 
porary Saints. 

John of Tynemouth says, on reaching Cornwall, he made for him- 
self there a habitation (mansionem sibi fecit), and performed many 
miracles. At length failing through infirmity of body, having con- 
voked the brethren, he gave them instructions concerning the Kingdom 
of God. Then he ordered his grave to be prepared, and into it he 
descended, and there expired on the third of the Nones of March. 
"" Quiescit autem in Cornubia supra mare Sabrinum, a Petrockstowe 
miliaribus quindecim, et a Mousehole vigintiquinque." That is to 
say, at Perranzabuloe. 

Leland, quoting from the legend of S . Piran preserved at Perranzabuloe , 
says : " Piran, who is also Pieran and Kyeran in Ireland, was born 
in the province of Ossory. His father's name was Domnel, and that 
of his mother Wingela. He was a disciple of S. Patrick. He came 
to England and died, and was buried in Britain." 2 

The quotation from the legend shows that the version by John of 
Tynemouth came from the same Life as that preserved at Perranzabuloe. 3 
Leland drew a wrong inference from the words " Ossiriensi provincia 
, . . originem traxit." It was true that he derived from Ossory, 
but he was not actually born in Ossory. 

The English version of the Life of S. Ciaran makes sad havoc of 
the Irish names. Lughaidh, his father, it converts into Domuel, 
and his mother Liadhain into Wingella. Aengus of Munster it calls 
Cohingus, and Cucraidh converts into Concolor. His nurse Cuach be- 
comes Cota.and his disciple Medhran is rendered Medardus. In it is also 
mention of a King Corban, who was possessed of the evil eye, and whom- 
soever he stared at fixedly he killed. Cairbre Crom is perhaps meant 
he was the great-grandson of Aengus, and was king of Munster in 542 ; 

1 In the Life in the Salamanca Codex it is merely stated that he died, but not 
where he died, on March 5. In not one of the first Lives in Colgan's possession 
-was it stated where he died. 

* Itin., iii, p. 195. 

3 " Beatus Piranus qui a quibusdam Keranus vocatur, in Cornubia ubi 
quiescit Piranus appellatur . . . Piranus itaque Ossiriensi Hibernie provincia, 
ex patre Domuel et matre Wingella originem traxit." Capgrave, Nova Leg. 

S. Ciaran 131 

but he cannot have been a king at the time that Ciaran was in Ireland. 
The story is to this effect. Ciaran was holding a gathering (consilium) 
which was largely attended. Corban was present and stared at a 
youth who came to consult Ciaran, and the youth at once fell dead. 
Ciaran was very angry and the king was struck with blindness. Then 
he fell at the Saint's feet and was healed, and the youth restored to 

If there be any basis of fact to this story it is this Cairbre the 
Crooked, a malicious boy, inheriting the prejudice of his family against 
the royal stock of Ossory, which had been driven out of its lands and 
had lost its position, disturbed a religious gathering held by Ciaran, 
and maltreated a lad who attended it, but did not mortally injure 

Some of the legends that attach to S. Ciaran may be added. 

He was on intimate terms with Ciaran of Clonmacnois and the two 
Brendans, but Brendan of Clonfert must have been young at the 
time, as he was born in 483. 

One day, Ciaran of Clonmacnois and the two Brendans visited the 
house of Saighir. The steward came to the abbot in dismay and said, 
" There is nothing to offer these distinguished guests except some 
scraps of bacon and water." 

" Then serve up the bacon and water," said the Saint ; and when 
they had been brought on the table, the guests courteously assured 
Ciaran that his bacon tasted better than anything they had hitherto 
eaten, and as to the water, it was as good as wine. But there was a 
lay brother at the board, and he thrust his platter away angrily, for 
he was tired of bacon, and had expected something better when dis- 
tinguished visitors were present. " Hah ! " exclaimed Ciaran, flaring 
up, " The time will come when you, son of Comgall, shall eat ass's 
flesh in Lent, and soon after you will lose your head." 1 

At Clonmacnois was a child named Crithid, " and in good works he 
was a fool of a fellow, and wicked in malicious works." He came to 
'Saighir and remained a while with the senior Ciaran. Now it was 
customary for fire to be lighted at Easter, and kept burning through- 
out the year, and it was regarded as a transgression to let the fire out, 
and to rekindle it before the next Easter came. Consequently always 
some one watched the fire night and day. But Crithid, maliciously 
it is asserted, but probably by carelessness, let the fire out. Ciaran 
Avas furious, and cursed the boy and said, " There shah 1 be no fire in 
this church till Easter, unless God kindle it." 

1 Vita in Cod. Sal., coll. 816-7 ; Irish Life, ed. Mulcahy, pp. 47-8. Here told 
somewhat differently. 

132 Lives of the British Saints 

Next day the boy, who had run away, was attacked by wolves and 
killed. Ciaran of Clonmacnois at once went to Saighir. He found 
the place very cold, with snow on the ground and no fire. Then, 
we are assured, the abbot of Saighir received it miraculously 
from heaven. The head of Clonmacnois demanded his boy Crithid, 
who, as he heard, had been devoured by wolves. " Here he is ! " 
replied the head of Saighir, and produced the child. 1 It is easy to 
see here that the story has grown. The boy, having let the fire out, 
ran away in alarm. Ciaran of Clonmacnois heard a rumour that he had 
been killed by wolves, and came to Saighir, where the child was pro- 
duced, and he was satisfied that he had been deceived by a false report. 
As to the fire, Ciaran the Elder overcame his scruples and rekindled 
it by friction. Ciaran of Clonmacnois died in 548 2 ; Brendan of 
Clonfert in 577 ; Brendan of Birr in 571 3 ; Finnian of Clonard, with 
whom Ciaran of Saighir studied, though, as we are assured, when he 
was an elderly man, 4 in 552. 5 Another contemporary Saint was S. 
Ruadhan of Lothra, and he died in 585. 6 As we have seen, he sur- 
vived Aengus MacNadfraich, who was killed in 489, and also Patrick 
MacCalpurn, who died in 493. It is, therefore, quite impossible to 
accept the early date given to Ciaran, and for which Mr. Hogan has. 

Approximately we place his chronology as follows : 

Expulsion of the Clan Cliu by Enna Cinnselach . c. 438 

Expulsion of the Ossorians by Aengus MacNadfraich 445 

Ciaran born in exile on Inis Cliar . . . c. 446 

Return of Clan Cliu ; Ciaran loses his nurse . . c. 458 

Ciaran leaves Ireland and is baptised . . c. 476 

Ciaran returns to Ireland . . . . c. 479 ~ 
Ciaran meets S. Patrick at the court of Aengus at 

Cashel ; founds Saighir . . . . c. 480 

Ciaran meets Lugaidh, King of Ireland, at Saighir . c. 483 

Carthagh obliged to leave for his immoral conduct . c. 484 

Aengus MacNadfraich killed .... 489 
Carthagh returns, and Ciaran resigns and departs 

for Cornwall ....... c. 

Ciaran dies ....... c. 

1 Life, ed. Mulcahy, pp. 48-50. 2 Ann. Four Masters. 

3 Ibid. 4 Life, ed. Mulcahy, p. 51. 

5 Annals of Innisfallen ; but Four Masters, 548. 

6 Annals of Tighernach ; Ussher, Britt. Eccl. Antiq., ii, p. 533. 

7 The Life in the Codex Sal. says he was twenty years abroad, but does not 
say he was thirty when he left Ireland. The Irish Life says he was thirty when 

S. Ciaran 133 

The dates for the most part are approximate. Mr. Hogan's date 
for the death of Ciaran is 465. Dr. Lanigan thinks he was alive after 
550. This is certainly too late. 

By the above calculation we make Ciaran aged only thirty-four 
when he founded Saighir. He cannot have been much older, as his 
mother accompanied him thither and founded her convent at Kil- 
leen. The time when Ciaran resigned is uncertain. Carthagh was 
abroad for seven years. But as Ciaran, on leaving Ireland, appar- 
ently took his nurse Cuach with him, and she became a foundress 
there, he cannot have been very much over forty-five years old. 

The dates that are fairly determined are that of the expulsion of 
the Ossorians from their land by Aengus in 445 ; the other is much 
more certain, the fate of Aengus in the battle of Kelliston in 489. Now 
it was on the expulsion of the Ossorians that Ciaran was born among 
theCorca Laoighe at least this seems the most probable explanation of 
his birth so far from the land of his paternal ancestors. Yet Ciaran 
visits Aengus, who drove his people out, and obtained his consent to 
found Saighir some time before 489. It is consequently certain that 
Ciaran was quite a young man when he made this settlement. It is 
absolutely impossible that he can have been aged fifty when he returned 
to Ireland and founded Saighir, if he had been born \vhen the Ossorians 
were driven from their land. At that age, his mother could hardly 
have been younger than seventy, too old to become the manager of a 
monastic and educational establishment. 

S. Ciaran is represented as having been a bishop, consecrated abroad, 
and " he ordained a great number of bishops and priests and other 
grades of the church." l 

In the Martyrologies of Tallagh and Donegal, a certain Nem Mac 
Ua Birn, abbot, is entered on June 14, and the latter says that he was 
brother of Ciaran at Saighir. This, however, is uncertain. The name 
shows that he was of the Hy Birn, the same as the Hy Duach. 2 He 
had seven uncles, forced into the ecclesiastical office to save their 
throats from being cut, Cairbre, Cellach and Cennfaladh, Conaill, 
Muiredach, Ruagussadh and Ubnea, two of whom were bishops. They 
were the founders of the church of the Hy Duach or Odagh, now 

he left Ireland, and that he was twenty years abroad. But this foreign excursion 
has been much altered to suit the scheme of making Ciaran to be commissioned 
by Celestine, and to precede S. Patrick. 

1 Life, ed. Mulcahy, p. 51. 

2 Laoghaire Birn, son of Aengus Osraigh, gave his name to the clan, which it 
bore till Ruman Duach, grandfather of S. Ciaran, gave that of Hy Duach to 
his branch. Nem Mac Ua Birn may have been of the family ; he died 654, three 
generations after S. Ciaran. 

134 Lives of the British Saints 

Castleodogh or Three Castles, near Kilkenny. Here is a great tumulus, 
most probably the tulach or family burial-place of the Hy Duach. 

Some account of what remains of Saighir may be of interest. Its 
cemetery came at an early date to be esteemed of peculiar sanctity ; 
for the Saint, in answer to one of his three last petitions, is said to have 
obtained for it the privilege that the gates of hell should not, after 
the Judgment Day, be closed upon those who were buried near his 
" Cathedra." The posterity of Dymma, prince of the Hy Fiachach, 
were interred there. From a passage in Keating's History of Ireland, 
it would seem also to have become the burial-place of the kings of 
Ossory. The cemetery was probably, at first, enclosed by the cus- 
tomary earthen rampart or stone cashel ; but be this as it may, there 
was no trace of cashel or rampart remaining in the year 917 perhaps 
it may have been obliterated when the Danes ravaged Saighir in 842. 
Then Sadbh, daughter of Donnchadh, son of Kellagh, Lord of Ossory, 
grieved that Saighir, the burial-place of her ancestors, should remain 
neglected and exposed, induced her husband Donnchadh, son of Flann 
Sinna, King of Ireland, to build a wall round the cemetery. Whilst 
the wall was a-building, it fell out that the father of Sadbh died and 
was buried there. On the following night, and for several after, nine 
spectres were seen squatted on the grave with gleaming white eyes 
and teeth, howling forth a long Irish song. Twenty-four men died of 
fright at the hideous spectacle. 1 Notwithstanding this mark of royal 
favour, the monastery was plundered by the people of Munster, 
thirty-five years after the piety of Donnchadh's consort had procured 
the enclosure. 

" The circuit of the ecclesiastical civitas may yet be traced with 
tolerable exactness. It apparently embraced an area of about ten 
acres in extent, enclosed by a fosse and double rampart of earth. On 
the north side these defences are tolerably perfect ; they are in good 
preservation, also, towards the south-west, where the inner rampart 
is still of considerable height, and strengthened by an external facing 
of stone ; and the south-western angle is defended by a lofty earthen 
fort or tumulus. The principal entrance seems to have been placed 
at the north side, and another gate may be traced in the southern 
rampart. The entire area slopes with an eastern exposure down to a 
small stream, and its upper portion is very much intersected with 
eaithworks, many of them running at right angles to each other, and 

1 This curious story is not given in the English translations of Keating, 
having been considered too fabulous. It is given, along with the " Carmen 
Hibernicum," which the ghosts howled discordantly, in Graves and Prim's History, 
Architecture and Antiquities of Kilkenny, Dublin, 1857, p. 9, note. 

S. Ciaran 135 

presenting the appearance of streets. The present churchyard lies 
nearly central in the larger area, but nearer the upper or western side ; 
it contains about one acre, and is clearly the original precinct of the 
monastery : its boundary wall is, for the most part, extremely ancient, 
and may, with great probability, be assumed to retain some portions 
of the septum erected early in the tenth century at the instance of the 
queen of Donnchadh, monarch of Ireland." l 

For an account of the churches and wells in Ireland bearing the 
name of the Saint, we may refer to Mr. John Hogan's 5. Ciaran 
of Ossory, Kilkenny, 1876, and to Canon O'Hanlon's Lives of the Irish 
Saints, March 6, vol. iii, and to Graves (J.) and Prim, (J. G. A.), His- 
tory, Architecture, and Antiquities of the Cathedral Church of S. Canice, 
Kilkenny, Dublin, 1857. 

Among the Celts of Brythonic speech the Goidelic form Ciaran or 
Cieran appears as Piran, Perran, and Peryn, in accordance with a 
well-known phonological law, whereby such Latin loan-words as pascha 
and purpura, which appear in Welsh as pasc and porphor, become 
caisc and corcur in Irish. When, however, the Welsh, probably at a 
later period, adopted the name from the Irish, they took it over as 
Car awn, later Car on. 

As usual in the case of Irish Saints culted by the Welsh, what they 
know of Caron is very little. The early copies of Bonedd y Saint know 
nothing of him. In a Bonedd in Cardiff MS. 25 (p. 115), copied in 
1640, he is, however, said to have been a son of Ithel Hael of Llydaw, 
and brother to SS. Trillo, Tegai and Llechid. Nicolas Roscarrock, 
from the MSS. of Edward Powell, says the same, and that he is rever- 
enced in South Wales. Here, probably, Caron is a misreading of Twrog. 
He is the patron of Tregaron, Cardiganshire, which sometimes occurs 
as Plwyf Caron. Lewis, in his Topographical Dictionary, says of 
Tregaron that it is " the burial-place of Caron, a Welsh king, who, 
from a low situation in life, raised himself, by his bravery and gener- 
ous deportment, to the sovereignty, which he held seven years ; after 
his death, in the year 219, he was canonized." 2 Rees includes him 
among the Welsh Saints of the seventh century and " those of uncer- 
tain date." 3 

The local tradition, still current, varies that he was a prince, a 
brave chieftain, or a bishop but it agrees in saying that he was 
buried where the church tower now stands, and that over his grave 

1 Graves and Prim, op. cit., p. 12. 

2 The extract is an expansion of Meyrick, History of Cardiganshire, 1808, 
p. 252. In Geoffrey's Welsh Brut Carawn is the form for Carausius. 

8 Welsh Saints, p. 306. 

136 Lives of the British Saints 

a large mound was raised. We have here evidently traditions of two 
distinct persons, a chieftain and an ecclesiastic, who have become 
mixed up in the popular mind. 

The festival of Caron or Ciaran, on March 5, occurs in the Welsh 
Calendars in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv, Additional MS. 22,720, Peniarth 
MS. 191, the lolo MSS., and the Prymers of 1618 and 1633, and he 
is entered as bishop. He is also given in the Demetian Calendar (denom- 
inated S), and the copy of it in CwrtmawrMS. 44 (sixteenth century) 
adds that on his day there was "a fair, at which people used to swear 
over Caron's grave and to offer." This fair, called Ffair Garon, held 
on the I5th, i6th, and lyth, N.S. (the eve, day, and morrow of his 
festival, O.S.), was in the olden days one of the largest fairs in Wales, 
and even to-day (held on the two last days only) it has not lost its 
popularity. Lewis Glyn Cothi, in the fifteenth century, who invokes 
Caron in several of his poems, in one passage exclaims, " By Caron's 
hand ! " : which seems to point to a statue or hand-relic of the 

His Holy Well there, Ffynnon Garon, was at Eastertide, in days 
gone by, a centre of great attraction for the young of both sexes. On 
Easter Eve crowds of children resorted thither, each one bringing 
a small mug or cup and a quantity of brown sugar, and drank copious 
draughts of the water sweetened with sugar. On Easter Day, or 
Low Sunday, the swains met their sweethearts at the spot, and 
made them gifts of white bread (bara can], which they ate, washing 
it down with the crystal spring-water in token of affection. 

Vuarth Caraun (Buarth Caron), Caron's cattle-fold, at Castell 
Fflemish, near Tregaron, is mentioned in the charters of Strata 
Florida. 2 

A chapel was formerly dedicated to him as Piran in Cardiff. Giral- 
dus Cambrensis says that King Henry II, on his way home from 
Ireland, heard Mass in " Capella Sancti Pirani " at Cardiff on Low 
Sunday, 1I72. 3 It stood in Shoemaker Street, in the parish of S. 
John, and it would seem that at the Reformation it was transformed 
into the Guild Hall of the Cordwainers and Glovers, in whose records 
for 1550 it is mentioned as " Seynt Peryns Chappell." 4 

Ciaran is the Kerian to whom a church is dedicated in Exeter. 

The church and holy well at Perranzabuloe in Cornwall mark the 

1 Gwaith, Oxf., 1837, p. 473 ; cf. Myv. Arch., p. 330. 

2 Dugdale, Monasticon, 1825, v, p. 632; Arch. Camb., 1889, p. 51; cf. 
Buarth Llwni. Caron occurs in three of the Tregaron township names. 

3 I tin. of Wales, i, c. 6 ; Conquest of Ireland, i, c. 39. 

4 Cardiff Records, Cardiff, 1901, iii, pp. 349-50. Lewis Morris (Celtic Remains, 
p. 346) mentions a Melin Beiran, in Anglesey. 

S. Ciaran z 3 7 

principal foundation there of the Saint, and there he was buried, and 
his head was preserved in a shrine and exhibited to the faithful. The 
relics of the Saint were highly venerated, and were resorted to by 
crowds of pilgrims. Bishop Bronescombe taxed the Vicarage on 
August 13, 1269, assigning to the Vicar, inter alia, " omnes obvenciones 
deturnis Reliquiarumobvenientes." They were again referred to in 
the Visitation of 1331 ; the parishioners were then accused of abusing 
their trust, by carrying the relics from place to place, and even 
to a great distance ; an irregularity as to which they had been warned 
before. In the Will of Sir John Arundel, Knight, dated 18 April, 
and proved 7 June, 1433, is the following bequest : " Item, lego ad 
usum parochie Sancti Pyerani in Zabulo, ad claudendum caput Sancti 
Pyerani honorifice, et meliorimodo quo sciunt, quadraginta solidos." 1 

In Domesday the church (Lampiran) is spoken of as collegiate. 

The ancient oratory of Perranzabuloe lies among the sandhills or 
towans of Penhale, that extend three miles in length, and almost two 
inland in parts. The moving hills of sand are held in check to the 
north and north-east by the little stream that finds its way into Holy 
Well Bay. The sands encroached to such an extent on the church 
that the parishioners built a second about 300 yards off. This again 
was invaded by the moving hills of sand, and a third church was erected 
further inland in 1804. The original church was found and dug out, 
in 1835, by Mr. William Michell of Comprigney near Truro, but un- 
happily nothing was done to preserve it. The walk are extremely 
rude, no mortar having been used. It is not, however, more ancient 
than the eighth or ninth century. Several skeletons w r ere found about 
two feet below the floor. Three were discovered with their feet lying 
underneath the altar, one of them of gigantic dimensions, measuring 
about 7 feet 6 inches. Of late years a railing has been erected 
around the ruin. 2 

Another church of S. Ciaran in Cornwall is Perran-ar-Worthal, 
where there is a holy well, but no structure of antiquity now remains 
over the spot. A third church is Perran-Uthno. 

The church of S. Kevern was anciently a foundation of S. Ache- 
bran, but he was forgotten, as his legend did not exist, and the dedi- 
cation was transferred to S. Ciaran. In 1266, in Bishop Bronescombe's 

1 Hingeston Randolph, Register of B. Grandisson, 1897, PP- 610-1, note. 

2 For Mr. Wm. Michell's account of the excavation see Randolph, op. cit., 
pp. 608-10. There was an account by C. Collins Trelawny, Perranzabulo : the 
Lost Church Found, which went through seven editions, 1837-77. In 1844 the 
Rev. W. Haslam published a book, The Church of St. Piran. He returned to 
the subject in From Death to Life, in 1880. Both gentlemen borrowed from Mr. 

138 Lives of the British Saints 

Register, it is S. Kaveranus or Keranus, but Sta. Keverana in the same 
Register, 1269. In Stapeldon's, 1310, it is the church Sti. Keverani, 
but in Stafford's, 1403, in that of Grandisson, 1341 and 1362, and that 
of Brantyngham, 1380, it is the church Sti. Kyerani. 

A good number of local traditions relative to S. Ciaran linger on 
in Cornwall. Hals relates how in his time people said that he had 
come over from Ireland floating on a mill-stone. This means no 
more than that he brought his lech with him. He is supposed to have 
been the first discoverer of tin, for which reason the miners adopted 
him as their patron Saint. 

The name of S. Ciaran occurs in the Hereford Missal, and is among 
the later entries in the twelfth century Exeter Calendar. It is in 
Grandisson's Legendarium and Calendar in the fourteenth century, 
and in the Norwich Calendar of the fifteenth century. Whytford, in 
his " Martiloge," 1526, gives him as S. Ciaue. He occurs in every 
Irish Martyrology. The Welsh Calendars we have already mentioned. 
He occurs in the Bodmin Calendar given by William of Worcester, 
and in that of Nicolas Roscarrock, who enters him both as S. Piran 
and, after Whytford, as S. Caue on the same day, March 5. Grandisson 
in his Martyrology, " In Cornubia Sti. Pyrani Ep. et Conl," on 
March 5. 

William of Worcester says that November 18 was observed in his 
honour at Launceston, probably on account of a Translation. A 
metrical Rule of S. Ciaran exists in MS. in the Library of the Royal 
Irish Academy, Dublin. The MS. is dated 1467 ; and it is found 
MS. 23, P. 3, fol. 14. 

S. CIGWA, see S. CIWA. 

S. CILYDD, Confessor 

IN various lists of Caw's children, esteemed to be Saints, is entered 
a son named Cilydd. 1 He is stated to have a church dedicated ta 
him in Dyfed, but we are unable to identify it. 

1 Peniarth MS. 75 (sixteenth century) ; lolo MSS., pp. 109, 117, 142-3. 

S. Ciwa 139 

S. CINFIC, Confessor 

IN the grant by Caradog, son of Rhiwallon, of " Villa Gunhucc in 
Guartha Cum " to the church of Llandaff, in the time of Bishop 
Herwald, who was consecrated in 1056, mention is made of " the four 
Saints of Llangwm, Mirgint, Cinficc, Huui and Eruen." * There 
are two Llangwms in Monmouthshire, Llangwm Ucha and Isa, form- 
ing one benefice, the churches of which are to-day dedicated to S. 
Jerome and S. John respectively. 

Cynffig, or Kenfig, is a chapelry attached to Pyle, in Glamorgan- 
shire, and dedicated to S. Mary Magdalene ; and there is a Kiffig in 
Carmarthenshire, which appears in the Book of Llan Ddv as Lann 
Ceffic. 2 

S. CIWA (CUACH or KEWE), Virgin, Abbess 

CIWA occurs on February 8 in the Welsh Calendars ; in Cotton Vesp. 
A. xiv (of the early thirteenth century) as "See. Kigwe virg.'," and 
the Prymer of 1618 as " Ciwa," and on the same day in the Exeter 
Martyrology of 1337, " Item in Cornubia Stae. Kywere virginis," (i.e. 
Ciwa the Virgin wyry), by Bishop Grandisson, and also in the Cal- 
endar of Nicolas Roscarrock. In those of the Welsh Prymer of 
1546, and Peniarth MS. 219 she is entered by mistake on February 6. 

The Welsh genealogies know nothing of her, which shows that 
most probably she was not of Welsh origin. The church of Llangiwa 
orLlangua, in Monmouthshire, now dedicated to S.James, is generally 
supposed to have been dedicated to her. It occurs as Lann Culan 
in the Book of Llan Ddv (p. 216), in the grant by Cynfyn, soiTbf 
Gwrgant, in the time of Bishop Cerenhir, about the ninth century, and 
as Languwan and Langywan in the fourteenth century additions to 
it (pp. 318, 320). In the Norwich Taxatio, 1254, it is spelt Lagywan. 

In Cornwall she is patroness of a church in the parish of Lannow 
(Lan-ciw), now called after her S. Kewe. Docwin or Cyngar was the 
patron of the church, and Lannow is at some distance from the church 
town, but he has been superseded as titular Saint of the parish. 

In 1370, owing to both her chapel, which had been removed to the 
churchyard of the parish church, and the latter having been polluted, 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 274. The same name, as Cinfic and Conficc, borne by 
laymen, occurs on pp. 189, 208. z P. 114. 

140 Lives of the British Saints 

the Bishop of Exeter issued a commission to John, Bishop of Com- 
magene, acting as his deputy, to reconcile both. 

Carew calls the parish Lanowseynt. In Domesday the manor is 
called Lanehoc, in the Exeter transcript Lannohoc. 

Kigwa or Ciwa is almost certainly Cuach, the nurse of S. Ciaran, 
and a notable abbess in Ireland. 

In the Irish Calendars she is commemorated on January 8, instead 
of February 8. The transfer in the Welsh and English Calendars 
is probably due to her having been confounded with Coynt, or Quinta, 
a virgin martyr who is given on February 8 in the Roman Martyro- 
logy. Cuach's name is given also as Coiningean (Coin the Virgin), or 
Coincha, and as Coinche she was easily identified with Coint or Coynt 
(Quinta) . On February 8 Why tford gives ' ' the feast of S. Coynt a virgin 
and martyr, that bycause she wolde not worshyp ydolles was drawen 
by y e heles or feet thrugh y e cite, and so they brake her bones and 
tare her flesshe tyll she dyed." 

Grandisson, who gives S. Kywere on February 8, also gives S. Cuaca 
V. on June 24. Roscarrock calls her Kewe, Kue, and Kigwe, but he 
also calls her Cota, following Capgrave, who misprinted John of Tyne- 
mouth's Coca as Cota. Roscarrock says she was the " ghostlie childe 
of S. Piran, and lived an austeer and solitarie life on an island or a 
Rock in the sea to which he had often access, without shippe or boote, 
going miraculously dry foot on the water to administer the sacra- 
ments unto her, and he also raised to life her priest called Geranus, 
quenched the fire that was burning in her house by prayer, and in- 
terrupted the carnall love that was between her mayd and his servant 
in sorte as the mayde was stricken with blindenes and remained soe, 
.and his man didseaven years of penance in Banishment and Studie." 

Here Roscarrock owes his information to the Life of S. Piran in 

She occurs in the Tallagh and Donegal Martyrologies on January 
8, but also on June 6 ; O'Gorman also on June 6, as " Cocca whom 
I love " ; also on June 29 ; and on January 8 as " dear modest Cuaca." 
She occurs also as Coiningean on April 29 in nearly all the Martyro- 
logies. She acquired the name " Wolf -girl " from a malformation 
of one nail of her finger, caused by an injury to it, but on account of 
which it was fabled that she had been suckled by a wolf. x 

There can, however, be little doubt that Coinche or Coiningean is 
the same as Cuach, for in the Latin Life of S. Ciaran she is called 

1 Fblire of Oengus, ed. W. Stokes, p. Ixxvii. " A great nail there was upon 
her^like a wolf's nail. She was daughter of a king of Leinster. Sed unguem 
canis quodam casu accepit." 

S. Ciwa 141 

Cocca, and in the Martyrology of Donegal she is spoken of as nurse 
to Ciaran, whereas in the Irish Life she is called Coinche. In the 
Drummond Calendar is given, on April 29, " Apud Hiberniam Natale 
Sanctorum Confessorum Coiningin et Fiachna." In the Felire of 
Oengus on April 29. 

No Life of the Saint is known to exist ; but all that can be found 
concerning her has been collected by Colgan in his Acta SS. Hibernice 
under January 8. It is mainly derived from the Lives of her foster 
son Ciaran of Saighir. 

Cuach was daughter of Talan and Coemel. But there is some doubt 
about the name of the father, who is given by MacFirbis as Fergus 
MacRoich. It is probable that Coemel was twice married. Her 
brother Caiman and her sister Atracta are numbered among the Saints. 
The latter was veiled by S. Patrick. 

The family belonged to the small tribe of Cliu Cathraighe, which 
occupied the northern slopes of Mount Leinster. This little clan was 
converted, about 430, by S. Isserninus, whereupon Enna Cinnselach, 
king of the district, drove them from their possessions into exile, and 
Isserninus accompanied the tribe into banishment. The persecution 
lasted after the death of Enna in 444. He was succeeded by his son 
Crimthan, who, like his father, was a pagan. However, in 458 S. 
Patrick succeeded in converting and baptising him, and the Apostle 
used the occasion to urge him to restore the exiles. This he consented 
to do, after they had been in banishment near on twenty years. 
Where they had tarried we are not told, only that it was somewhere 
in the south. As Cuach was the nurse or foster-mother of S. Ciaran, 
she must have been among the Corca Laoighe in southern Munster. 

We cannot set down Ciaran as born later than 446, and we may 
suppose that when the exiled families of the Hy Duach and Clan Cliu 
met in banishment, an intimacy sprang up between them, and in 
token of this amity, the newly-born Ciaran was given to the still 
young Cuach or Ciwa to nurse and to love. 

Certainly Ciaran was with her for longer than the period of unre- 
membering infancy, for he ever held Cuach in the deepest and tender- 
est affection. 1 

1 " Thereafter came to his family a small tribe in Cliu, Catrige its name. From 
this he (i.e. Bishop Fith or Iserninus) went till he set up at Toicuile. He left 
a saint of his family there. After this he went till he set up a rath under Alascath. 
He left another saint in this. From this he went to Latrach Da Arad. Herein 
went to him Cathbu's seven sons ; he preached to them et crediderunt et baptizati 
sunt, and he went with them southward to their dwelling. . . . Enna Cinnselach 
expelled them because of believing before every one. Bishop Fith went 
with them into exile, each of them apart. After this Patrick came, and Dun- 

Lives of the British Saints 

He himself was not baptised till he was thirty, but she was an exile 
ior the faith, one of the first Confessors for Christ that the island 
possessed, and she must have impressed the religious character on 
Ciaran's mind. The summons to return came in 458, or perhaps 
a little later, and then Ciaran parted with his nurse. He was then 
not over twelve, and he was destined not to meet Cuach again for 
many years. 

On her return to the land of her fathers, her two brothers and her 
sister embraced the religious profession. It is probable that this had 
been part of the agreement ; on these terms only had Crimthan, king 
of the Hy Cinnselach, permitted them to come back. 

For some reason unrecorded, S. Patrick did not veil Cuach, but 
handed her over to MacTail, whom he consecrated Bishop and placed 
at Kilcullen. Bishop MacTail was to instruct Cuach in religion, 
but ugly reports circulated relative to his undue intimacy with her, 
and his clergy denounced him for it apparently to Patrick ; what 
was the result is not related. 1 Nothing further is known of Cuach 
till Ciaran arrived at Saighir, which was about the year 480, when 
she unreservedly placed herself in his hands. She became the head 
of two establishments for women, one at Ross Benchuir in Clare, the 
other at Kilcoagh (Cill-cuach) near Donard. Persuaded by S. Patrick, 
Crimthan, king of the Hy Cinnselach, had restored the Clan Cliu 
Cathraighe to their land. They ill repaid his liberality. In 484 they 
- joined cause with the Hy Bairrche against him, and Eochaidh of the 
Hy Bairrche killed Crimthan, who was his grandfather, with his own 
hand. Several battles followed, at Graine in 485, another in 492, in 
which Finchadh, king of the Hy Cinnselach, was slain. 

It is told that when ploughing time came, Ciaran was wont to lead 
forth a team, bless it, and send the oxen across country to the settle- 
ment at Ross Benchuir. They arrived without a driver, and remained 
lowing outside Cuach's walls till she received them. Then, as soon 
as her ploughing was accomplished, she said to the oxen : " Depart 
to my foster-son again." Whereupon the beasts started of their 
own accord and went across country to Ciaran. This they did every 
year. Translated out of its fictional adornments into plain fact, this 
resolves itself into a simple transaction. Ciaran attended to Cuach's 

lang's seven sons believed in him. After this he went to Crimthan, son of 
Enna Cinnselach, and he himself believed in Rath Bilech. Patrick, after bap- 
tizing him, besought him to let go Cath bad's sons and Iserninus together with 
them, and he obtained the boon." Add. to Tirechan, ed. Whitley Stokes, 
Tripartite Life, ii, p. 343. 

1 " It was she who was pupil to MacTail of Cell Cuilind, and on account of 
her the clergy of Leinster reviled MacTail." Felire of Oengus, p. Ixxvii. 

S. Ciwa 143 

fanning arrangements, and managed the annual ploughing for her, 
not at Ross Benchuir, but at Cill-Cuach, which was nearer to Saighir. 

At Kilcoagh by Donard is her Holy Well, Tubar-no-chocha, at uj^ 
which stations were formerly made. The cill is mentioned in a grant 
of 1173 to the Abbey of Glendalough as " Cell Chuachae." S. Coemgen 
was probably a nephew, though represented in a pedigree of the Saints 
as her half-brother ; but this is chronologically impossible. 

On Christmas Eve S. Ciaran said Mass at midnight, and at once 
departed from his monastery, and walked to that of Cuach, and 
communicated her and her nuns, and then returned in the morning to 
Saighir. This would seem to show that for a while Cuach was superior 
of Killeen, near Saighir, where he had at first established his mother. 
The same conclusion may be drawn from the escapade of S. Carthagh, 
his pupil, who seduced one of Cuach's pupils and by her became a 
father. This also points to close proximity of the houses. 

Near Ross Benchuir was a rock in the sea to which Cuach was 
wont to retire at times for prayer. Ciaran is reported to have stepped 
on to a stone and to have employed it as a boat in which to cross the 
water to^ her. Here again, under a fable a simple fact lies concealed, 
that he was wont to visit his old nurse in her island hermitage, and 
there minister to her in holy things. 

One day Ciaran went with a great crowd (multa turma cum eo) to 
the cell of Cuach, and they were given as a repast a pig's shoulder. < 
" And out of that shoulder he made corn, honey, fish and ale." Prob- 
ably here we have a misunderstanding she gave him what she had, 
a shoulder of bacon, and that had to serve the party for lunch in place 
of the corn, honey, fish and ale they had reckoned on. 1 His turma 
consisted of nine hundred and forty men, so that the poor little com- 
munity was hard put to it to feed such a host. 

Geran, or Cieran, was the priest of Cuach, and when he died, S. 
Ciaran restored him to life again. 2 One day her monastery caught 
fire through carelessness, Ciaran himself extinguished the flames, the 
writer says, through the sign of the cross, probably by throwing buckets 
of water over the fire. 3 

At what date Ciaran removed to Cornwall we do not know. It was 
due to an arrangement w T ith the kings of Munster, that he should sur- 
render the abbacy to Carthagh, who was of the royal family, so soon 
as this dissolute youth should have reached the age of discretion and 
have gained experience. Almost certainly Ciaran would induce his 

1-3 These three incidents axe related in John of Tynemouth's Life of S. Piran, 
and are not found in the Irish Lives of S. Ciaran. 

144 Lives of the British Saints 

nurse to accompany him, to become the head of societies for women 
in the country to which he migrated. 

Ladock in Cornwall is probably Lan-ty-Cuach, and was one of her 
houses. The patronal feast is observed there on the first Thursday 
in January, and this fairly agrees with her festival as marked in the 
Irish Calendar, January 8. 

In the Episcopal Registers the church is given as Ecclesia Sanctae 
Ladock, Bronescombe 1268, Quivil 1281, Grandisson 1330, 1337 ; 
Brantyngham, 1372, 1373, 1391 ; there is consequently no justifi- 
cation in Mr. C. Borlase supposing that the church was dedicated to 
a male Saint, S. Cadoc. Ladock is on one side of the dorsal ridge 
of Cornwall, and Perranzabuloe, the foundation of S. Ciaran, on the 
other. They are about nine miles apart. 

But the principal foundation of Cuach in Cornwall was apparently 
Lanowe. To the north lies high bleak land, with poor soil over slaty 
rock, rising some five hundred and fifty feet above the sea. This 
high land drops suddenly, forming a step, and this step is cleft with 
gullies or combes down which murmur streams to the richer land 
below. One of these, clothed in gorse and coppice, with spires of 
lichened rock rising above it, has on the east side a platform of warm 
red friable rock, dominating the lower land, but sheltered by the hills 
from the prevailing north-west winds. An ancient watercourse has 
been cut, leading a stream from the brook to this terrace, where it 
fills a pool and supplies farm and fields with water. Here is Lanowe, 
the original site of Cuach's church and monastery. In her day all 
the high land to the north was covered with oak forest ; and tradition 
has it that it was infested by a wild black boar, that ravaged the 
pastures and with its tusks gored men and beasts. 

S. Cyngar, or Docwin, locally called S. Dawe, lived where is now 
the parish church, and Cuach visited him, but he refused to see her 
till she had tamed the wild boar. Nicolas Roscarrock, who relates 
the tradition, says that she did this, and then he opened his cell door 
and conversed with her. The tradition of the place, at the present 
date is, that five parishes united to hunt the boar and at last slew it ; 
whereupon Kewe (Cuach) moved the site of her church from Lanowe 
to where is now the parish church, a place less exposed to the ravages 
of wild beasts. 1 

1 Gilbert, in his Historical Survey of Cornwall, 1820, ii, p. 608, gives the story 
thus : " The person who showed the author the church declared that this was 
the figure of a wild boar which in former days had greatly infested S. Kew and 
the neighbouring parishes, but was at length slain by a man named Lanow in 
Lanow woods in this parish." 


. Liiwa 14 c 

i ~> 

In this faint and faded form we have perhaps a reminiscence of 
the old tale of the Twrch Trwyth, and the depredations of the Irish 
Gwyddyl on this coast. 

In the church windows are the arms of Cayell of Trehaverick, Arg. ' 
a calf passant sable ; but the villagers persist in believing these black 
heraldic calves to represent the wild black boar of tradition. 

The site of S. Kewe is one of the sweetest and loveliest in Cornwall 
a narrow valley enfolded by hills, where trees and flowers luxuriate, 
the haunt of song birds, and where the stream from Lanowe, joined 
by another, has swollen into a brook much frequented by the azure 
kingfisher. The church is singularly stately and beautiful, and con- 
tains much old glass of the finest quality. 

In one of the side windows is a figure, presumably of S. Kewe, 
crowned, with waving golden hair. But Ciaran's little nurse-girl never 
wore a crown on earth, hers was to be one eternal in the heavens. 

She is thought to have been buried at Killeen Cormac, near Dun- 
lavin in Wicklow. The name Killeen, like the other by Saighir, points 
to a foundation by Liadhain, Ciaran's mother. There are several 
churches in Ireland that look to Cuach as a foundress, and she must 
have been very active as an auxiliary to S. Ciaran. Kilcock in Kildare 
was the most flourishing of these. An interesting account of Killeen 
Cormac, with its ancient graveyard and Ogam inscriptions, is given 
in Shearman's Loca Patriciana, 1882. 

Kewestoke in Somersetshire, though now dedicated to S. Paul, by 
its name seems to indicate S. Ciwa as its original patron. 

In Brittany, she seems to have had a monastery near Cleguerec. 
This place was apparently an Irish Colony, for the church was under 
the invocation of S. Brigid, indeed the parish, Ferret, taken from 
it, bears her name in its Breton form. Here, up to 833, was a 
little monastery, Lann-ty-Cocan, which in that year was made over 
to the abbey of Redon, and ceased thenceforth to exist. The place 
was then called Du Cocan or Ty Coca. The act of transfer was 
registered in the church porch in the presence of the Mactiern 
Alfrit, and was written by S. Convoyo, abbot of Redon. 1 In the 
following century it was devastated by the Northmen and was never 
refounded. The monastery probably stood by the beautiful lake, 
des Salles, to the north-east of which rise well-timbered heights. The 
stream that feeds the lake flows on between hills and through forest 
to expand once more in the 'fetang des Forges, and then discharges 
into the Blavet. 

Lobineau supposed that the monastery was of SS. Ducocae. That 
1 Cartulary of Redon, p. 354. 


146 Lives of the British Saints 

is of the two Saints of the same name, Dua Coccce, the Cuach of June 
6, and the Saint of the same name on June 29 though he gives 
only July 29. But it is much more probable that Ducocca is Ty- 
Cuacha, as such is the form the name assumed in Cornwall after Lan, 
at Ladock. 

Bishop MacTail, concerning whose intimacy with Cuach scandalous 
reports circulated, died in 548, according to the Annals of the Four 
Masters, but it is not easy to allow him so long a life, as he succeeded 
to be Bishop of Kilcullen about 460, following Isserninus. 

If Ciaran died about 530, we would suppose that his foster-mother 
departed this life some years earlier. 

The Holy Well of S. Kewe exists on the glebe in the parsonage 
grounds at S. Kewe. It is in sound condition, but of no structural 

Nicolas Roscarrock makes S. Doc win, whom he calls Da we, to 
"be living as a hermit in the parish, and he says that according to 
popular tradition she and S. Dawe were sister and brother. 

Leland calls her Cua. " The family of Cavell in S. Cua paroch at 
Trearack." x 

S. CIWG, Confessor 

CIWG was the son of Arawn (or Aron) ab Cynfarch Gul, of the line 
of Coel Hen. 2 Rees places him among the Saints who flourished in 
the middle of the sixth century. 3 

Cynfarch was a Northern prince, who married Nyfain, daughter 
of Brychan, by whom he became the father of the celebrated Urien 
Rheged. Geoffrey, in his fabulous Brut, says that King Arthur 
apportioned the districts which he had wrested from the Saxons 
between three brothers, Urien, Llew, and Arawn. To Arawn he gave 
Yscotlont or Prydyn, 4 and one of the Triads speaks of him as one 
of the three " counselling knights "~ of his court. 

The church of Llangiwg or Llanguicke, in Glamorganshire, is dedi- 
cated to Ciwg. 5 Browne Willis 6 gives his festival as June 29. 

The following occurs as the first of the " Sayings of the Wise " 7 

1 I tin., ed. Oxf., 1745, iii, p. 7. 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 108, 146 ; see also p. 145, where " Cirig " is a misscript for 
Ciwg. 8 Welsh Saints, p. 271. 

4 Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 194. 

5 For an account of the church and parish see W. LI. Morgan, Antiquarian 
Survey of East Gower, 1899, pp. 53-9. 6 Parochiale Anglicanum, 1733, p. 191. 

7 lolo MSS., 251. 

S. Claudia 147 

Hast thou heard the saying of Ciwg, 
The truly wise bard of Gwynhylwg ? 
" The possessor of discretion is far-sighted." 
(Perchen pwyll pell ei olwg.) 

From this it would appear that he was a bard as well as Saint. 

S. CLAUDIA, Matron 

CLAUDIA, the wife of Pudens, to whom S. Paul sent a salutation 
in his Second Epistle to Timothy, has been supposed to have been a 
British princess. She was, possibly enough, the daughter of Claudius 
Cogidubnus, whom Tacitus speaks of as a British king, and as 
acting at the same time as an imperial legate. 1 A marble tablet 
discovered at Chichester commemorates the erection of a temple to 
Neptune and Minerva by a Guild of Craftsmen, on a site given by 
Pudens, son of Pudentianus, under the sanction of Tiberius Claudius 
Cogidubnus. 2 The nomen and prtenomen assumed by this Briton 
would indicate the special favour in which he was held by the emperor. 

Tacitus says that he acted as imperial legate, that is, as provincial 
governor, over, probably, the Cantii and Regni in Kent, Surrey, and 
Sussex. Martial has an epigram on the marriage of the British 
Claudia Rufina to Pudens, a member of the Aemilian gens. 3 

The fact that Claudia was an adopted member of the Rufine family 
shows that she was connected with the gens Pomponia, to which this 
family belonged ; and it may have been in consequence of this mar- 
riage that Pudens joined with Claudius Cogidubnus in the erection of 
the temple at Chichester. 

Aulus Plautius, the conqueror of Britain, had married a Pomponia, 

1 Tac., Agricola, 14. 



. . . . D. S. D. DONATE AREAM 

* " Claudia coeruleis . . . Rufina Britannis edita." Epig. xi, 34. 
" Claudia Rufe, meo nubet peregrina Pudenti, 
Macte esto taedis, O Hymense, suis 

Diligat ilia senem quondam ; sed et ipsa marito, 

Tune quoque cum fuerit, non videatur anus." Epig. v, 13. 

148 Lives of the British Saints 

who in A.D. 57 was accused of practising an illicit religion, and although 
pronounced guiltless by her husband, to whose domestic tribunal she 
was left, according to the practice of Roman law, spent the rest of 
her life in a depressed condition, by which Tacitus probably means 
religious retreat and abstinence from attendance at public games. 1 
This lasted for forty years, " non cultu nisi lugubri, non animo nisi 
maesto." That she was a Christian is most probable. The Pomponii 
Bassi, another branch of the family, were ; that is shown by two 
inscriptions found in the catacomb of S. Callixtus ; and in the same 
catacomb was discovered by de Rossi a third inscription to Pomponios 
Grsecinos, who consequently was akin to Pomponia Graecina. 2 

Now the house of Pudens was one of the first used in Rome for 
Christian worship, and over it was erected the church now known as 
Sta. Pudentiana. The house had been bought by Pudens from 
Aquila and Priscilla. 

" Short of actual proof it would be hard to imagine a series of 
evidences more morally convincing that the Pudens and Claudia of 
Martial are the Pudens and Claudia of S. Paul, and that they, as well 
as Pomponia, were Christians." 3 

Claudia and Pudens were the parents of Novatus, Timotheus, 
Praxedes and Pudentiana, all of whom are numbered with the saints. 
It was she and Pudens who are said to have received S. Peter into 
their house. The Acts of S. Pudens, S. Praxedes and S. Pudentiana 
are extant, but they are quite untrustworthy. 

After a long life spent in the exercise of Christian virtues, Claudia 
died at her husband's villa at Sabinum in Umbria, at the beginning 
of the second century. Her body was translated to Rome by her 
sons, and laid in the tomb of Pudens, beside her husband. 

A good deal of wild conjecture 4 has been indulged in relation to 
Claudia Rufina, who has been supposed to have been the daughter 
of Caratacus who so bravely resisted Aulus Plautius and Ostorius 
Scapula. We know that finally Caratacus was taken, along with 
his wife and daughter, and that all were sent in chains to Rome. 
But the inscription at Chichester leads us rather to take Claudia 

1 " Pomponia Graecina insignis femina, A. Plautio, quern ovasse de Britannis. 
rettuli, nupta ac superstitionis externae rea, mariti judicio permissa. Isque 
prisco justitio propinquis coram de capite famaque conjugis cognovit et insontem 
pronunciavit. Longa huic Pomponiae aetas et continua tristitia fuit." Tac. x 
Ann., xiii, 32. 

2 De Rossi, Roma Sott., ii, 360-4 ; Kraus, Roma Sotteranea, pp. 142-3. 

3 Conybeare, Roman Britain, 1903, p. 257. 

4 See, for instance, John Williams (Archdeacon), Claudia and Pudens, Llan- 
dovery, 1848. 

S. Clether 149 

to have been the daughter of Ti. Claudius Cogidubnus or Cogi- 

There is no mention of Claudia in Welsh tradition, and she has 
received no cult. She is included in no martyrology save only in 
that of Wilson, who, purely arbitrarily, gives as her day August 7. 

Theophilus Evans, in his Drych y Prif Oesoedd, first published in 
1716, gives her name under the Welsh form, Gwladys Ruffydd (ii, c. i) ; 
but Gwladys could never represent Claudia. 



S. CLETHER, Confessor 

IN the Life of S. Brynach (Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv) is mention of a 
certain lord of a district ^n_Carmar then where he was, called Clechre. 
But in John of Tynemouth's version of the story it is " dominus 
loci illius, nomine Cletherus." He was surnamed the Aged, and he 
feared God. 

Probably the Clechre of the Cotton MS. is a scribe's error for Cle- 
therus, misreading the th as ch, possibly under the influence of the 
cognomen Senex, 1 which, if he had a Welsh original before him, 
may have read clairch,* a decrepit old man. 

W T hether he was akin to Clydwyn, who had expelled the Goidels 
from Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, we cannot say ; but the 
Brynach country is also the Clydwyn country. Clydwyn was a son of 
Brychan ; and when Clether went to Cornwall, it was into that part 
colonized by the Brychan family. 

Brynach had come into the country, and squatted in a valley, and 
lighted a fire. In the morning Clether, or Clechre, saw the rising smoke, 
and summoned his twenty sons, and bade them see who had dared 
to intrude on their land, for to kindle a fire was an assertion of 

They came to Brynach, and discovered that he was the husband 
of the sister of Clydwyn, and if, as is probable, Clether was of the 

1 " Senex cognominabatur," Cambro-British Saints, p. 9. 

2 Welsh clairch, Cornish cloirec, Med. Irish cUrech, and Manx cleragh, are all 
derived from the Latin clericus. 

150 Lives of the British Saints 

Brychan stock, he would 'welcome Brynach as a kinsman by marriage. 
He received Brynach well, placed his sons under his tuition, and 
himself, inspired by the desire of leading an eremitical life, departed 
for Cornwall, " where, serving God, he gave up his happy soul to the 
Lord." ! 

The place in Cornwall where he settled was in the valley of the 
Inny under the lofty hog's-back of Laneast Down, that cuts off the 
winds from the Atlantic. Here igneous rocks project like horns above 
the grassy valley, forming rock shelters beneath them. Perhaps 
he selected one of these, and put a screen in front to complete the 
shelter. Hard by a copious spring that never fails gushes out of the 
hillside. A sweeter spot could hardly have been selected ; blue as 
the sky in the spring with wild hyacinths, and in the bottom the 
glittering stream winding along with a gentle murmur. Here to this 
day is the sanctuary, or sentry, and one rude granite cross remains 
marking its bounds. 

In the eleventh century, perhaps earlier, the parish church of S. 
Clether was built further down the valley, on a height. Bishop 
Bronescombe re -consecrated the church that had been rebuilt, on 
October 23, 1259 '>. but it bears traces of earlier work. 

The chapel of S. Clether, the original oratory of the Saint, was rebuilt 
in the fifteenth century, and the holy well reconstructed. The chapel 
is a building running east and west, and measures internally 19 
feet i inch by n feet 4 inches. It possesses a door to the west, 
and another to the north. The holy well is situated 7 feet from 
the north-east angle of the chapel, and the water from it is conducted 
by a channel under the floor to the altar, beneath which it bubbled 
up, and then ran away and fell over a sill at the south-east end into 
a small (second) holy well, to which access was obtained from without. 2 

The idea was certainly taken from the description of the living 
waters in Ezek. xlvii, 1,2. "He brought me again unto the door of the 
house ; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of 
the house eastward . . . and the waters came down from under 
from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar . . . 
and, behold, there, ran out waters on the right side." 

The existing building is of the fifteenth century, but it is possibly a 
reconstruction out of the material of the original chapel. No mortar 

"Pater vero senex valedicens, osculatusque omnibus, partes 
Cornubiae, ibidem Deo serviens beatam Domino reddidit animam." Cambro- 
British Saints, p. 9. 

2 See S. Clether' s Chapel and Holy Wells, by Rev. A. H. Malan, in Journal of 
the Royal Inst. of Cornwall, 1898, p. 541 ; and an article in The Cornish Magazine, 
Truro, 1898, p. 449. 


S. Cloffan 151 

had been employed in the masonry. The chapel and well, having 
fallen into ruin, were restored in 1898, and re-dedicated. 

From S. Clether's, probably, the Saint moved south and settled at 
what is now called S. Cleer. Cleer is a possible substitute for Clether. 
There were two chapels of S. Cleer, or Clare, at Hartland in Devon, 
one at Pelham, the other at Gawlish. S. Nectan of Hartland was 
probably the uncle of S. Clether. There is a Cleder in Leon near 
Plouzevede, but the patron of the church is S. Quay, or Kea. 

The Feast of S. Clether is on October 23, the day of the re-dedication 
of the church. 

The probable true day of the Saint is August 19, and that of Clydog 
of Clodock, November 3. However, Nicolas Roscarrock gives Novem- 
ber 4, and November 3 for Clitaucus. 

The church at S. Clether appears in the Exeter Episcopal Registers 
as Ecclesia Sti. Clederi, Bronescombe, 1259, 1260-1 ; Sti. Cledri, Bran- 
tyngham, 1380. 


THIS Saint occurs in a few MSS. as a daughter of Brychan. but in 
none, we believe, of earlier date than the sixteenth century. In 
Peniarth MS. 178 (sixteenth century) she is given as a saint " in 
Emlyn," but in Llanstephan MS. 187 (circa 1634) as " in Talgarth, in 
the south." In these MSS. she has been mistaken for the Clydai and 
Gwen, respectively, of the Cognatio de Brychan. Nicolas Roscarrock 
also enters her in his Brychan list. The name is probably a misreading 
of Clydai. 

S. CLOFFAN, Bishop, Confessor 

CLOFFAN is said to have been of the race of the mythical Bran ab 
Llyr Llediaith, and a bishop in the time of Cystennin Fendigaid. 
His church, it is added, is in Dyfed. 1 By it, no doubt, is meant 
Llangloffan, in Pembrokeshire, but there is no trace of a church there. 
It is in the parish of Jordanston ; but, as that church is usually said 
to be dedicated to a Welsh S. Cwrda, of whom, however, nothing is 
known, the church meant is presumably the neighbouring Cranston 
1 lolo MSS., pp. 116, 136. 

152 Lives of the British Saints 

(S. Catherine). In an early seventeenth century list of Pembroke- 
shire manors we have " Stangnaveth alias Llangloffan." x 
Cloffan means a lameter, from doff, lame. 

S. CLYDAI, Virgin 

CLYDAI was a daughter of Brychan. There is a remarkable unan- 
imity about this daughter. Her name appears in the two Cognatio 
versions and in practically all the later lists. Her church is stated 
to be in Emlyn. It is that of Clydai or Clydey, in north Pembroke- 
shire, which is known also as Swydd Clydai, swydd here being employed 
in the restricted sense of commote. Her festival occurs on All Saints' 
Day in the Demetian Calendar (denominated S), and in no other. 
It also gives a Clydvn or Clydau as a son of Brychan on November 3, 
clearly a misreading for Clydog, his grandson. 

S. CLYDNO EIDDYN, Confessor 

CLYDNO EIDDYN was a son of Cynwyd Cynwydion, of the race 
of Coel Godebog, and the brother of Cynan Genhir, Cynfelyn Drwsgl, 
and Cadrod Calchfynydd. 2 He and his brothers, it is said, were 
disciples of S. Cadoc at Llancarfan. They were all northern 
chieftains, whose title to saintship rests entirely upon the late Achau'r 
Saint printed in the lolo MSS. Eiddyn was the name of a district 
in which Din Eiddyn, now Edinburgh, and Caer Eiddyn, now Carri- 
den, were situated. Clydno was the father of Cynon, Eurnaid, and 
Euronwy, the mother of S. Grwst. 

No churches are dedicated to him, but he is associated with Carnar- 
vonshire. There is. a Cefn Cludno in that county, which is mentioned 
in the Mabinogi of Math ab Mathonwy. 3 Rhisierdyn, an Anglesey 
bard of the early fourteenth century, refers to his prowess and daring 
in two of his poems. 4 

1 Owen, Pembrokeshire, i, pp. 399, 412. 

2 Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd ; lolo MSS., pp. 105, 128. With his name compare 
Gwyddno, Machno, Tudno, etc. 

3 Ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 71. He was one of the Northern chieftains who 
invaded Arfon to avenge the death of Elidyr Mwynfawr (Welsh Laws, ed. 
Aneurin Owen, p. 50). 4 Myv. Arch., pp. 290-1. 

S. Clydog 153 

S. CLYDOG, King, Martyr 

THE legend of Clitauc or Clydog is first told in the twelfth century 
Book of Llan Ddv, ed. Evans and Rhys, pp. 193-5. 

A Life in the Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv (early thirteenth century) 
is an imperfect transcript from the above (ibid., preface, p. xxxiii). 

A Life by John of Tynemouth, Cotton MS. Tiberius, E. i (fourteenth 
century) is from the same, condensed. This has been printed in 
Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice, and in Acta SS. Bolland., Aug. iii. 

P- 733- 

Both series of the Cognatio de Brychan make Brychan's son, Clydwyn, 
father of SS. Clydog and Dedyu, or Dettu ; but the later Brychan lists 
make Clydog son of Brychan. 1 

The Taliessin pedigree in lolo MSS. pp. 72-3, like most of the docu- 
ments in that collection, is late. There are three copies of it there, 
and it runs thus, taken together Taliessin ab Henwg Sant (al. Henwg 
Hen, Fardd) ab Fflwch Lawdrwm ab Cynin ab Cynfar(ch) ab Clydog 
(al. Clydog Sant, Clydog Sant o Dir Euas) ab Gwynnar ... up to 
the mythical Bran. 

If we might trust this pedigree, there were two S. Clydogs. The 
name Clydog, however, was not uncommon, and the portion within 
brackets is clearly an interpolation ; for the first copy gives Clydog 
simply, without the addition. 

According to the Vita, Clitauc was a king in Ewyas (now partly in 
Herefordshire and partly in Monmouthshire), son of Clitguin, ruling 
with justice and peacefully. 

A certain girl, daughter of a noble, fell in love with him, and declared 
that she would marry no one else. One of the comrades of Clitauc, 
filled with jealousy, he having already made up his mind that this 
girl should be his, murdered the king one day, when he was out hunting, 
with his sword. 

The body was placed on a cart to which were yoked a couple of oxen, 
which were driven towards the river, where was a ford. The river 
was the Monnow. On reaching the bank the yoke broke and the 
oxen refused to be driven further ; it was, therefore, resolved to build 
a church on the spot, and this is Clodock. 

The legend then goes on to relate how two men who had long been 
enemies, vowed upon the tomb of S. Clydog to be reconciled. On 
their way back one treacherously murdered the other ; but imme- 
diately after, conscience stricken, fell on his own spear and died 

1 lolo MSS., pp. in, 119, 140 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419-20. 

154 Lives of the British Saints 

One church alone seems to have been dedicated to this Saint, 
Clodock, in Herefordshire, which in the Book of Llan Ddv is sometimes 
called Merthyr Clydog his martyrium. 

In the lolo MSS.,p. 119 " His church is in Euas, where he was 
killed by pagan Saxons." In the Myv. Arch., p. 420, he " is in Caer 
Gledog in England," where notice the word caer. By it is probably 
meant Longtown, where is an ancient camp. This Life affords proof 
that the Brychan rule extended into Herefordshire. 

" The hermits Llibio, Gwrfan and Cynfwr were the first inhabitants 
and cultivators of the place after the martyrdom of Clydog the Martyr." 
They built there an improved church. 1 Ithael, King of Glywysing 
in the time of Bishop Berthwyn, made a grant of it to the church of 

In the churchyard of Llanychllwydog (dedicated to S. David), 
in Pembrokeshire, are two upright stones supposed to mark the place 
where is buried the Saint who gave his name to the parish ; but this 
is more probably S. Llwydog or Llwyddog, 2 than S. Clydog, as Fenton 
supposed. 3 

The festival of S. Clydog is November 3 in the Calendars in Cotton 
MS. Vesp. A. xiv, the lolo MSS., the Welsh Prymers of 1546, 1618 
and 1633, Nicolas Roscarrock, and a number of old Welsh Almanacks, 
principally of the eighteenth century. But Allwydd Paradwys 
(1670) and Rees, after Cressy, 4 give August 19. So also Wilson's 
Martyrologie, 1608, and the Bollandists, who follow him. 

Whytford gives, on November 3 : " In Englond y e feest of Saynt 
Clitauke a martyr, a kynges son of strayte iustyce, a louer of peace, 
and of pure chastite, and of strayte and perfyte lyfe y 1 was cruelly 
slayne by a fals traytour at whose deth were shewed many myracles 
and at his tombe after many moo." 

In art he should be represented holding a sword in one hand and a 
lily in the other, and crowned as a prince. 

Clydog was the name of the eleventh or twelfth bishop of S. David's. 5 

S. CLYDWYN or CLEDWYN, King, Confessor 

BOTH versions of the Cognatio de Brychan give Clydwyn as son of 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 194-5. 

2 Arch. Camb., 1865, p. 182 ; Westwood, Lapid. Wallice, p. 122. 

3 Fenton, Pembrokeshire, 1811, p. 570; Cressy, Church Hist, of Britt., lib. x, 
c. 15. 4 Welsh Saints, p. 146. 

5 Giraldus Cambrensis, Opera, vi, ed. Dimock, p. 102 ; Stubbs, Registrum 
Sacr. Anglic., p. 155. 

S. Coel 155 

that great father of Saints. They state that he "invaded the whole 
land of South Wales," or " conquered Deheubarth," and that he was 
the father of SS. Clydog and Dedyu or Dettu. In Jesus College MS. 
20 hissecond son is called Hedetta sant, which stands for ha Dettu, " and 
Dettu," and this name is the daughter, S. Pedita, that has been ascribed 
to him. * All the late Brychan lists make him a son of Brychan. One 
entry adds that he " conquered Deheubarth," and another that he 
was " King of Ceredigion and Dyfed." ' 2 

The statement that he conquered South Wales cannot be strictly 
accurate, as Rees has shown. 3 What is meant is the Dyfed of that 
time. His reputed conquest has brought him into the pedigrees of 
the kings of Dyfed, one form of which gives him a daughter named 
Gwledyr. 4 

The only church said to be dedicated to him is Llanglydwen in 
Carmarthenshire, on the confines of that county and Pembrokeshire ; 
but the identification of Clydwyn with Clydwen is to be assumed. 

It is stated in a poem in the Book of Taliessin, relating to the northern 
chieftain Gwallog ab Lleenog, that " the following of Clydwyn co- 
operated " with him ; 5 but another person of the name may be 
intended. A place called " Cruc Cletwin " (his Mound) is mentioned in 
the Talley Abbey charter of 1331. 6 

According to Willis 7 his festival is All Saints' Day, which is the 
festival also of his sister, Clydai. Clydvn, Clydyn, or Clydau occurs 
in the Demetian Calendar (S) on November 3, on which day we have 
also Clydog. 

S. COEL, King, Confessor 

COEL HEN, or, as often, Coel Godebog, is included among the Welsh 
Saints in the lolo MSS. 8 only, but more especially as the ancestor 
of Saints. He is there said to have " founded a church in Llandaff," 
and to have been the father of SS. Elen, Gwawl and Ceneu. He is 
mentioned as king of the Isle of Britain, and son of Tegfan, whose 

1 Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 146. 

2 Myv. Arch., p. 420 ; lolo MSS., p. 119. 3 Welsh Saints, p. 140. 

4 Owen, Pembrokeshire, ii, pp. 277-8. His name as Gloitguin has been foisted 
into the Demetian pedigree in Harleian MS. 3859, and he is given a son, Clodri 
(Y Cymmrodor, ix, p. 171). 

5 Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 149. 

6 Dugdale, Monasticon, 1825, iv, p. 162; Daniel-Tyssen and Evans, Car- 
marthen Charters, 1878, p. 63. 

7 Parochiale Anglicanum, 1733, p. 188. On the paten cover (1574) belonging 
to the church the parish-name is engraved " Llangloydwen." 8 Pp. 126, 147. 

156 Lives of the British Saints 

genealogy is traced up to Aedd Mawr, the mythical " first sole monarch 
of the Isle of Britain." 

His correct pedigree, however, will be found in the Old-Welsh 
genealogies in Harleian MS. 3859,* where he is made to be the son 
of Guotepauc, the son of Tecmant Godebog being his father's name, 
and not his epithet, which was Hen. According to these genealogies 
he was the father of Garbaniaun and Ceneu. Of his race, especially 
through Ceneu, were descended ^rnpst of the " Mefi of the North." 2 

Skene says that " Ayrshire divided into the three districts of Cun- 
ingham, Kyle, and Carrick seems to have been the main seat of 
the families of the race of Coel, from whom indeed the district of 
Coel, now Kyle, is said traditionally to have taken its name. There is 
every reason to believe that Boece, in filling up the regions of his phan- 
tom kings with imaginary events, used local traditions where he could 
find them ; and he tells us ' Kyi dein proxima est vel Coil potius 
nominata, a Coilo Britannorum rege ibi in pugna cseso ' ; and a circular 
mound at Coilsfield, in the parish of Tarliolton, is pointed out by local 
tradition as his tomb." 3 

Geoffrey of Monmouth, who styles him Earl of Gloucester, says 
that he had only one child, Elen Luyddog, or Helen, the wife of Con- 
stantius, and the mother of Constantine the Great. However, the 
old Welsh saga, the Dream of Maxen Wledig, makes Elen Luyddog 
the daughter of Eudaf, son of Caradog, and the wife of Maxen. 

S. COF, Confessor 

THERE were two Saints of this name. 

I. Cof, the son of Ceidio ab Arthwys, of the race of Ceneu ab Coel. 
He and his brothers, Gwenddoleu and Nudd, were Saints at Llan- 
twit. 4 

II. Cof, the son of Caw. His name occurs in two lists of Caw's 
children, reputed to have been Saints. 5 

The saintship of both rests entirely upon the authority of the lolo 

1 Y Cymmrodor, ix, p. 174. 2 Peniarth MS. 45. 

3 Four Ancient Books, i, p. 170. 

4 lolo MSS., pp. 106, 128. His name occurs in the " Descent of the Men of 
the North " (Peniarth MS. 45). 

5 lolo MSS., pp. 137, 142. 

S. Collen 

S. COLLEN, Abbot, Confessor 

THERE is a Life of S. Collen in Welsh, but no copies of it appear 
to exist of earlier date than the sixteenth century. 1 

According to this Life he was the son of Gwynog ab Caledog (al. 
Cydebog) ab Cawrdaf ab Caradog Freichfras, and his mother was 
Ethni (al. Eithinen) Wyddeles, daughter of Matholwch, an Irish lord. 2 
The Welsh genealogies differ as to his pedigree. Some agree with the 
Life 3 ; others make him son of Pedrwn ab Coleddog ab Gwyn. 4 They t 
give his mother a~s Ethni or Ethinen Wyddeles, a name not uncommon 
as Ethne or Eithne in Irish. The Life states that she was Matholwch's 
daughter by one of his wife's handmaids, and was sent to Britain 
to be reared. 

Ethni, the night she conceived, dreamt that a dove flew to her, 
took her heart out of her bosom, and bore it up to heaven, whence 
the bird returned, and restoring it to its place, with sweet odours, 

Collen, when a youth, was sent to France to study at Orleans, 
where he remained for over eight years, during the time, it is said, 
of Julian the Apostate, but this is an anachronism, as Collen lived 
in the seventh and not the fourth century. 

To bring the incessant wars that were then being waged between 
the Pagans and Christians to a speedy termination, a paynim named 
Bras (possibly a Saracen) challenged to fight in single combat any < 
one that the Christians might choose to pit against him, stipulating 

1 The earliest known MS. containing the Life isHafodMS. 19, written in 1536. 
The copy to be printed in the appendix to this work is from this MS. There are 
also copies in Llanstephan MSS. 117 (1544-52), 34 (late sixteenth century), 18 
(early eighteenth century), and Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 14,987. The Life has been 
printed in Y Greal, London, 1807, pp. 337-41. In Llanstephan MS. 117 he 
is called " Collen Filwr." Collen (pi. cyll) is the common name for the hazel 
but it also occurs, very rarely, for a sapling, as in collen derwen (Mabinogion, 
ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 129). For the name compare Onen Greg, Yspyddaden 
Bencawr, etc. 

2 The Life tells us that his " lordship " or district was called Rwngcwl, al. 
Rwngkwc, at the time it was written. Its situation is unknown to us.' There is 
a Rathcoole near Dublin, another in co. Cork, and another in co. Louth. 

z ~Cam5ro-British Saints, p. 270 ; Myv. Arch., p. 420 ; lolo MSS., pp. 108, 123. 

They, however, give his grandfather as Coleddog, Clydog, Cadellog, and Cad ell. 

4 Hafod MS. 16 (c. 1400) ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 268 ; Myv. Arch., p. 420. 

158 Lives of the British Saints 

that the losing side should henceforth adopt the religion of the con- 
queror. The Pope was greatly perplexed, for he could not find any 
Christian brave enough to accept the challenge. At last he was 
divinely directed to go to Porth Hantwn, 1 and the first person he 
met there should be his choice. He traversed land and sea until he 
reached that port, and the first person he met was Collen, who cheer- 
fully accepted the challenge. 

The champions met. In the first encounter Collen's hand was 
slightly wounded. Bras counselled him to give in, adding that he 
would cure the wound for him by the application of a precious oint- 
ment that he had in his basinet, and at the same time magnanimously 
handed him the ointment box. Collen applied some of the ointment 
to the wound and it was healed forthwith, but instead of returning 
the box to Bras, he threw it into the river, so that neither should get 
any further benefit from it. Collen next felled his antagonist, who, 
imploring him not to kill him, promised to embrace the Christian 
religion. The Pope baptized him there and then, and " the whole 
nation of the Greeks believed, and they were all baptized." 

As a souvenir of this signal victory, the Pope presented Collen with 
a " relic, none other than the lily that blossomed before the pagans, 
when one of them said that it was no truer that a son was born to the 
Virgin, than that the withered lily in yonder pot should ever bear 
fair flowers. Then that lily blossomed. That lily the Pope gave 
to Collen, who brought it into this Island, and it is said to be still at 
Worcester." 2 

Collen, landing in Cornwall, came to Glastonbury Abbey, where 
he took the religious habit, and in three months' time was chosen 
abbot. Then, with the convent's leave, " he took upon him a life 
that was heavier and harder than being abbot," which consisted in 
preaching and upholding the Catholic Faith. This he daily pursued 
; for the space of three years, and then returned to the abbey, where 
he remained five years. " Then he became angry with the men of 
the land for their wrong-doing, and cursed them." His choleric 
_^ temper now drove him to Glastonbury Tor, and " there he made him- 
self a cell under a rock in a secret place out of the way." 

One day, whilst in his cell, he overheard two men talking about 
Gwyn ab Nudd, and remarking that he was king of Annwn (the Under- 

1 Al. Porth Hamwnt ; now Southampton. The South is modern. It occurs 
as Porth Hamtwn and Porth Hamwnt in Geoffrey's Welsh Brut. 

2 We fear nothing is known to-day of this relic at Worcester, any more than 
of S. Oudoceus' butter-made cup turned into gold, said to be still " in Ecclesia 
Landaviae honorifice reservatur " (Book of Llan Ddv. p. 137). * 


S. Collen 

world) and the Fairies. This was too much for Collen. He put out 
his head and bade them stop their foolish talk immediately ; these 
were none other than demons. They replied that he would have to 
answer for such words as those. He then drew in his head. Pre- 
sently he heard knocking at his door, and got for reply, " I am here, 
the messenger of Gwyn ab Nudd, King of Annwn, to bid thee come by 
mid-day to-morrow to speak with him on the top of the hill." Collen 
declined to go. The same messenger " in raiment the one half red 
and the other half blue " came again the next day, and the day 
after, when at last, losing patience, he said, " If thou dost not come, 
Collen, it will be the worse for thee." The menace disconcerted him, 
and, taking with him some holy water he had prepared, he pro- 
ceeded up the hill. 

" On reaching the top, he saw the fairest castle that he had ever 
beheld, manned by the best-appointed troops ; and there were num- 
bers of musicians with every manner of song, vocal and instrumental ; 
steeds with youths riding them, the handsomest in the world ; maidens 
of noble mien, sprightly, light-footed, gay-apparelled, and in the 
bloom of youth ; and every magnificence becoming the court of a 
sumptuous king. He beheld a courteous man on the rampart, who 
bade him enter, saying that the king was waiting for him to come to 
dine. Collen entered the castle, and found the king sitting in a chair 
of gold. He welcomed Collen with due honour, and bade him seat 
himself at the table, adding that, besides what he saw thereon before 
him, he should have the rarest of all dainties and luxuries his mind 
could desire, and should be supplied with every liquor and sweet drink 
his heart could wish ; and that there were in readiness for him every 
luxury of courtesy and service, of banquet and honourable entertain- 
ment, of rank and gifts, and of every respect and welcome due to a 
man of his wisdom. ' I will not,' said Collen, ' eat the tree-leaves.' 
' Hast thou ever seen men better apparelled than these in red and 
blue ? ' asked the king. ' Their apparel is good enough,' said Collen, 
' of the kind it is.' ' What kind is that ? ' inquired the king. Then 
answered Collen : ' The red on the one side betokens burning, and the 
blue on the other betokens cold ' ; and with that he drew out his 
sprinkler (siobo), and dashed the holy water over them, whereupon 
they vanished out of his sight, so that there was neither castle, nor 
troops, nor men, nor maidens, nor music, nor song, nor steeds, nor 
youths, nor banquet, nor the appearance of anything whatsoever 
but the green tumps." 

That night, on his return to his cell, Collen prayed God that he 
might have a place to dwell in for the rest of his life, and he was 


160 Lives of the British Saints 

bidden to go a journey next day until he met a horse, which he was 
to mount ; and as much ground as he could compass that day should 
be " his sanctuary until Doomsday." He met the horse at a place 
called Rhysfa Maes Cadfarch 1 ; and " he rode it round his parish, and 
in the centre of the sanctuary made his cell," in which he spent the 
remainder of his days, and within it was laid to his rest. 

This strange legend, which makes Collen act the part of S. Michael 
the Archangel the common champion of Christianity against the 
Powers of Darkness in Celtic as in other lands is still current, in a 
slightly altered form, in the Vale of Llangollen. The older and fuller 
version printed is to the following effect. Long ages ago there 
dwelt at Bwlch Rhiwfelen, an elevation commanding an extensive 
view of the country round, a giantess popularly called Cawres y Bwlch 
(the Giantess of the Pass) , who had a penchant for killing and devour- 
ing every human being that attempted to go through the pass. The 
good man S. Collen, who lived hard by, determined to rid the district 
of the pest. So one day, having specially whetted his sword, he pro- 
ceeded up the Bwlch. The giantess duly made her appearance, 
and he asked her who she was, and what was she doing there. She 
replied, " It is I myself killing myself " (" Myfi fy hun yn fy lladd 
fy hun.") They both engaged in combat, and Collen knocked off her 
right arm with his sword. She quickly picked up the bleeding dis- 
membered arm and began to strike the Saint with it, but he next cut 
off her other arm. Then she cried aloud on Arthur the Giant to come 
to her aid out of his stronghold in the EglwysegRocks. But Collen 
had the mastery over her, and slew her, and washed" himself of her 
blood-stains in a well near at hand (on the mountain), which is known 
to this day as Ffynnon Gollen. 2 

S. Collen is the patron of Llangollen, 3 Denbighshire, an extensive 
parish comprising originally nineteen or twenty-one townships. 

1 " The Course of the Charger's Field." Qxeal, simply Rhysfa Cadfarch. It 
has been supposed that it is in Somersetshire (Owen, Sanctorale Catholicum, 1880, 
p. 248). The Greal copy, which is in some respects fuller in detail than that in 
Hafod MS. 19, states here that he was to proceed from the Tor " until he saw . 
road leading on towards the east (yn cyrchu wyneb y dwyrain), which he was 
to follow until he met a horse," the same day. Th'at would not be in the direction 
of Wales. But there must be some mistake here, as the " sanctuary " meant is 
surely Llangollen. 

2 The legend is given in the Welsh quarterly, Taliesin, Ruthin, 1860, p. 286 ; 
the Journal of the British Archaological Association, 1878, pp. 426-7 ; and Y 
Geninen, 1900, p. 4. The last version, which was picked up near Corwen, varies 
a little. It says that she lived in a cave on a hill-slope ; that cattle, as well 
as human beings, were her victims ; and that Collen was of the female sex. 

3 Sawyl, son of Llywarch Hen, was buried at Llangollen, and another son, 

S. Collen, 161 

The Rural Dean's Report of 1749 says of the church, " There is a 
building adjoining the tower, westward, called ' the Old Church,' in 
which the tutelar saint Collen lies." This has since disappeared, 
as also the recumbent figure of an ecclesiastic, popularly supposed to 
represent S. Collen. Norden, in 1620, mentions a field called " Capel 
Collen " in the township of Dinhinlle Isaf in the parish of Ruabon, 
Denbighshire. Edward Lhuyd (died 1709) wrote of it : " Capel Collen 
^ the name of a field, wherein is a cross, in the parish of Ruabon. 
They keep their wake on S. Collen's Day, the third week of summer." 
The " Capel Collen " probably represented the " Ecc'a Sancti Colyem " 
(in Maelor) of the Norwich Taxatio, 1254. There is a farm named 
Ca^tell Collen, near an ancient camp called Y Gaer, in the parish of 
Llanfihangel Helygen, Radnorshire. Trail wm Gollen is one of the 
townships of the parish of Welshpool, Montgomeryshire. A brook 
called Collen runs into the Towy at Llanegwad, Carmarthenshire, 
and another into the Trowi, near Llanarth Hall, Cardiganshire. 

He is probably the patron of S. Colan, Cornwall, called in the 
Register of Bishop Bronescombe " Ecclesia de Sancto Choulano," 
also " Sancti Culani," 1272 and 1276. In the Taxatio of 1291, "Ecclesia 
Sancti Colani." So also in the Register of Bishop Grandisson, 1341 
and 1355, and Bishop Stafford, 1406 and 1412. 

In Brittany is a Langolen, where is his statue in the church, and 
the Pardon is held on the second Sunday in August. Langolen is 
near Briec in Finistere. The statue represents him as an anchorite, 
with head and feet bare, and a staff in his hand. 

S. Collen's festival is the 2ist of May, which occurs on that day 
in all the Welsh Calendars except one, that in the Prymer of 1546, 
where it is entered on the 22nd, no doubt by mistake. Browne 
\Yillis, 1 followed by Rees, 2 gives it on the 2Oth, but the error is due 
in all probability to the fact that the Wake-fair was held (Old Style ; 
New Style, 3ist) on the eve of his day. But it was not unusual for 
fairs to fall on the eves of Festivals, as may be proved from existing 
Welsh fairs in parishes where the patron is, for instance, theB. V. M., 
or S. Michael the Archangel ; in fact, the vigil, feast, and morrow 
was the common charter phraseology. 

Gwell, at Rhiwfelen, according to a poem attributed to Llywarch (Skene, Four 
Ancient Books, ii, p. 266). 

1 Survey of Bangor, p. 365. 

2 Welsh SS., p. 302. See Jesus College (Oxon.) MS. 18, p. 34, for the Llan- 
gollen Gwyl Mabsant. 


1 62 Lives of the British Saints 

S. COLMAN, Bishop, Confessor 

To this saint are dedicated Llangolman, subject to Maenclochog, 
in Pembrokeshire, as also Capel Colman in the same county. 

Llangolman stands on high ground above the old Roman road that 
strikes from the Taf , below Llanglydwen, to Ma"enclochog, and thence 
to S. Dogwells, where it falls into the Ffordd Ffleming and Via Julia. 
A strip of Teilo land curiously intervenes between Llangolman and 
Maenclochog, the mother church, now dedicated to S. Mary, implying 
that the Teilo land was cut out later, and that the foundation of S. 
Colman is very early. 

There are over a hundred Colmans named as saints in the Irish 
Calendars and by hagiographers, and it is difficult to say which was 
he who founded Llangolman. But we are, perhaps, right in attributing 
this church and the chapel to Colman of Dromore, for this Saint was a 
pupil of S. Ailbe, or Ailfyw, who was grandson of Cynyr of Caer Gawch, 
and he is, moreover, associated in his legend with S. David. 

Colman's Life is in the Salamanca Codex of the Lives of the Irish 
Saints, coll. 827-34, also in Ada SS. Boll., Jun. ii, pp. 25-9. 

The Life is full of anachronisms, and is eminently fabulous. He 
was of an illustrious family in Dalriada, and had an uncle, a bishop of 
the same name, who baptized him. His first master was S. Caylan 
of Nendrum. This Caylan or Coelan became Bishop of Down about 
499. From him Colman passed under the tuition of Ailbe of Emly. 
Ailbe died between 526 and 541. 

After having studied with him, he visited Bishop Macniss, then 
very aged, and who died in or about 514. Acting on his advice he 
founded a monastery near the river Lagan, that flows past Dromore 
in the county of Down. 

Diarmid MacCearbhal, King of Ireland (544-558), had a fortress 
near by, and Colman invited the king and his suite to lunch, and to 
entertain them killed seven cows and as many calves, and, marvellous 
to relate, the veal of the latter tasted like pork. 1 But for drink he 
could furnish nothing stronger than milk and water. 

He was associated with Aidan, Bishop of Ferns, in the troubles 
that were caused by the slaughter of Brandubh, King of Leinster (605). 
Thrice he made a pilgrimage to Rome ; and on one of these visits was 
consecrated bishop by S. Gregory (590-604). On his return from 
one of these journeys he was in Britain, when the queen gave birth 

1 " Vituli in porcos conversi sunt pingues." Cod. Sal., col. 831. 

S. Co /man 163 

to a dead son, but by his merits, the infant came to life and became 
the illustrious S. David ! l Then he took and educated him. 

One day a girl was washing her smock by the side of a lake, when a 
water monster swallowed her. Colman made the creature disgorge 
her safe and undigested, and bade it never play such tricks again. 

Some bards one of the peripatetic bands which became more than 
once an intolerable nuisance in Ireland came to him, and ringing their 
bell, demanded imperiously a largess. Colman replied that the only 
thing at his disposal to give them was the Word of God. 

" Keep that to yourself, we don't want it," replied the bards. " You 
are a parcel of fools," said Colman. " You have rejected what is good, 
and chosen what is bad." 

His mother sent to say that she wanted to see him and have a talk 
with him. He returned the message, " She may see me or talk 
with me but not both." The good woman elected the latter. 

It was accordingly contrived that he should stand on one side of 
the trunk of a great tree, and she on the other, and they should thus 
hold commune together. But the old woman was not to be baulked 
thus, and, dodging round the tree bole, she had a good sight of Colman 
after having enjoyed his conversation. This is not exactly as the 
story is told ; but it is, doubtless, the way in which she got the look 
she so desired. 2 

For three days the monastery was on short commons. This puzzled 
Colman, so he went into the cellar to examine into the supplies, and 
discovered that the cellarer was a rogue and had been purloining 
the provisions and drink of the brethren. This, of course, Colman 
discovered " divina revelatione," as if he were incapable of finding 
it out by the light of common sense. The fraudulent cellarer was 
thrust out of the monastery. 

It is not possible to determine with any certainty when S. Colman 
of Dromore died. It has been generally assumed that it was about 
610, to allow of his ordination by S. Gregory, and his association 
with S. Aidan at the burial of King Brandubh. But probably, if 

1 " Dum vero inde rediens domum regis Britanniae pervenisset ; contigit 
quod ilia nocte regina mortuum filium pararet. Quern beatus . . . resusci- 
tavit, nutrivit ac docuit. Ipse est enim David, gloriosus Britanniae episcopus." 
Cod. Sal., col. 832. 

2 " Deinde juxta arborem quandam convenientes, ille ex hac, ilia ex alia 
parte, ne se invicem viderent, colloqui ceperunt. Interea divina clemencia, 
cui nichil est impossibile, eorum obtutibus viam, qua se nullo obstaculo impediente 
conspicerent, per medium robur fecit." Ibid., col. 833. What was the good of a 
miracle, when all that was required was for the woman to dodge round the tree ? 
Doubtless in the original the story was so told, but the redactor saw no point 
in it unless it were converted into a miraculous event. 

164 Lives of the British Saints 

there be any truth in either of these stories, they belong to another 
Colman, and cannot well belong to the Colman who entertained 
Diarmid, and who taught S. David, and had been himself taught 
by S. Ailbe and S. Coelan. We shall be probably nearer the truth 
when we put his death as occurring about 585. l 

His day is June 7 in the Felire of Oengus, the Martyrologies of 
Down, Tallagh and 0' Gorman, and the Drummond Calendar ; 
Whytford as well, and Nicolas Roscarrock. The Aberdeen Breviary, 
however, gives June 6. Browne Willis 2 gives November 20, as the 
festival at Llangolman. 

At Capel Colman there is a crossed stone, without any inscription, 
which serves as a gate-post, near the churchyard. It is still called 
Maen-ar-Golman, the stone on Colman, 3 which perpetuates the belief 
that he was buried here. 

Llangolman is the name given to some meadows on Penwallis, in 
Fishguard parish. The names Bryn Colman and Cynffon Golman 
occur in the parish of Llanfihangel Tre'r Beirdd, Anglesey ; also 
Ffos Golman, in the same island. There is a Forth Golman near 
Aberdaron, Carnarvonshire. 4 

S. COLUMBA, Virgin, Martyr 

Two churches in Cornwall are dedicated to this Saint, and S. Columb 
Major is one of the largest parishes in the diocese, comprising 12,046 

But S. Columba, Virgin, Martyr, is a very puzzling person. There 
was a Columba at Sens, who was slain with the sword, according to 
the Roman Martyrology, in the reign of the Emperor Aurelian, about 
273. The Acts are fabulous. The cult of S. Columba is certainly 
ancient. She is the only Gallic female Saint who found a place in 
the Mozarabic Liturgy of the seventh century, and her name is found 

1 S. Patrick is said to have foretold his birth thirty years before this took 
place. S. Columcille is said to have also foretold his birth. If S. Patrick died 
in 493, the rough calculation that Colman was born some thirty years after 
Patrick's visit to Sabhal may be approximately correct. But the prophecy of 
S. Columcille is impossible, he was born 520. 

The story of the birth of S. David is, of course, absurd. But it may be true 
that Ailbe committed the youthful David to his pupil Colman for instruction. 

2 Parochiale Anglicanum, 1733, p. 177. 

3 Westwood, Lapidarium Wallice, pp. 120-1, where it is figured ; also in Arch. 
Camb., 1861, p. 210. 

4 These names probably point to an Irish invasion under a chieftain of the 
name (L. Morris, Celtic Remains, pp. 181-2). 

S. Columba 165 

in the Gothic Liturgy of a still earlier period. The legend is a poor 
and extravagant romance, which probably rests entirely on popular 
tradition, but which has been filled in with inflated and tedious dis- 

But this is not the Columba of Cornwall. Her legend has happily 
been recovered from Nicolas Roscarrock's MS. Lives of the Saints, 
in the Cambridge University Library. 

He took the story " out of an olde Cornish Rythme containing 
her legend, translated by one Mr. Williams a Phisicion there," i.e., at 
S. Columb Major. Would that Roscarrock had inserted the ballad 
in Cornish ! Columba was daughter of King Lodan and Queen Mani- 
gild, both pagans. The Holy Ghost appeared to her in the likeness 
of a dove, assuring her of His blessing and love, whereupon she vowed 
virginity, and forbearing to go with her parents to the idolatrous 
temple, she withdrew into a solitary place to pray, and there was 
granted a vision of the Blessed Trinity. Her parents urged her to 
quit her solitude and return to them, but this she refused to do, and 
confessed herself to be a Christian. This " greived her parents so 
greatlie, as they pfed all means, first by kinde usage to remove her ; 
and they sawe that would not serve, fell to great anger and caused 
her to be whipped and tormented. All which she indured with 
great patience, still prayeing Christ to give her grace to psever, whcse 
prayers prevailed so farr, as shee was much encouradged. And as 
her Father committed her to prison into a dark Dungion, it pleased 
God there to comfort her w th an Angell, whoe delivered her out of 
that prison and guided her into a Desert farr distant from that place ; 
where she came, being destitute of all releif and bodelie food, she fell 
to prayer, and having help from God, whoe provided in such sort for 
her as she founde convenient sustaynance. At last, a great enemie 
of Christian religion dwelling hard by and hearing of her, sent certaine 
to apprehend her, whoe seing her beautie and mode of behaviour, 
was sodainlie surprised with it, and offered to marrye her to his sonn 
and make her the mistress of all that he had, so as she would first 
forsake her faith. For which, rendering great thanks signified she 
could not accept of them, having vowed Chastitie. Wherewith the 
Tyrant caused her to be tyed to a wheele to be tormented ; at which 
time the Angell of God did protect her and she recieved no harme." 
She was recommitted to prison and two ruffians sent in to insult her ; 
but Divine power was manifested for her protection, " the Angell of 
God interfering and conducting her out of the prison, and directed 
her to goe towards the sea-coaste and take the first . shipp that she 
did meet withall, and soe she did, having come to the coaste, the Holy 

1 66 

Ghoste appeared again unto her in the form of a Dove on the topp of 
the shipp, with which being comforted she at last arrived at a place 
\y in Cornwall called Trevelgvy, where the Tyrant, having intelligence 
of it, pursued her, and at a place called Ruthwas overtoke her, and 
refusing to renounce Christian religion, chopt ofTier head. At which 
place is a Well at this daie which beareth her name." 

The story is obviously pure legend, built up out of her name and 
a faint acquaintance with the story of Columba of Sens. Roscarrock 
seems to have had some misgivings about it. He mentions several 
male Columbas, and says that doubtless some such had been in Corn- 
wall. Hals says : " The tutelar patron or guardian of the church 
of S. Columb, to whom the same is dedicated, an Irish gentleman 
by birth ; though contrary to this opinion, in Camden's Britannia 
we are told that this church bears the name of ... a holy woman 
who lived in those parts, and that her life was written in the Cornish 
tongue, and in possession of one Mr. Roscarrock." 

At Sens, the commemoration of S. Columba, V.M., is on Decem- 
ber 31. 

March 16 is entered in Martyrologies as the day of another Columba, 
V.M., but this is one of the spurious Saints of the company of S. 
Ursula, fabricated by Elizabeth of Schonau. 

At S. Columb Minor, the fair is on June 9, and the Feast on Novem- 
ber 15. At Culbone in Somersetshire, another Columba church, 
about June 9. At S. Columb Major the Feast is on the Sunday nearest 
to November n. 

The Bollandists (ed. 1668), on March 16, give Columba, V.M., in 
England. They say : " In posteriore editione Martyrologii An- 
glicani (i.e., Wilson's, 1640), citatis Camdeno et Spedo, ac Catalogo SS. 
Brit, ad xvi Martii illud elogium profertur : Eodem die in Cornwallia 
commemoratio Stse. Columbae, V. ac M. quae Celebris fuit et sanctitate 
vitas et miraculis patratis, ubi ad hoc usque tempus multa monu- 
menta ejus nominis extant, quae videri possunt." 

But the attribution of Columba of Cornwall to March 16 by Wilson 
was arbitrary, and was only so done because he found on that day 
the entry of one of those fabulous martyrs of Ursula's company who 
bare the name of Columba. Alford, in his Annales Ecclesice Britannicce, 
1663, accepts March 16. 

There is not a shadow of evidence that in Cornwall S. Columba 
was culted on that day. 

In Brittany, moreover, a Columba is venerated at Plougonvelen in 
Finistere. There is a Ste. Colombe in Ille et Vilaine, as well as a 
S. Coulomb. 


S. Golumba 

The Feast at S. Columb Minor has no connexion with the days of 
the Virgin-Martyrs. The Fair there, June 9, and the Feast at Culbone, 
agree with the day of S. Columba, Abbot of lona. The Feast, No- 
vember 15, coincides with the day of S. Columbanus, Abbot of Bobio. 

This would seem to show that there existed much confusion of 
mind, not only as to who the patron was, but also as to the sex of the 

The Episcopal Registers of Exeter always give the two churches 
of S. Columb in Cornwall as dedicated to a female Saint. 

But it is not easy to understand how such an important parish as 
Columb Major, near to Castel-an-Dinas, one of the most strongly 
defended fortresses in the county, could have been given to either 
Columba of Sens, or to an apocryphal Columba of Cornwall. Hals 
is probably right in his conjecture, that the original patron was an 
Irish Columba, a male. 1 The attribution to an imaginary female 
virgin-martyr is due to the name. 

We are much inclined to suspect that the Cornish, Somerset and 
Brittany churches of S. Columba were foundations of Columba of 
Tir-da-glas. There is a strong Irish element in the dedications in all 
the district about S. Columb Major and S. Columb Minor in Corn- 
wall. They adjoin S. Mawgan, the great master trainer of mission- 
aries for S. Patrick, S. Carantock who laboured along with Patrick, 
S. Issey or Itha, the Brigid of Munster, S. Merryn, or Morwenna, or 
Monynna, the disciple of S. Brigid ; and near S. Petrock, who, if not 
Irish, was trained by S. Pulcherius or Mohoemog. What more prob- 
able than that Columba of Tir-da-glas, who was much on the Con- 
tinent, made settlements in Brittany, crossed into Cornwall and made 
another there, before he went on to Ireland, starting on his voyage 
home from Padstowe Harbour ? 

The Life of this Saint, a man of a peculiarly modest and beautiful 
character, is in the Salamanca Codex of the A eta SS. Hibernice, edited 
by De Smedt, Edinb. 1888, pp. 445-62. 

This Saint was a native of Leinster ; his father was King Ninnidh, 
of the race of Crimthan. He was educated by S. Colman at Clonkeen 
in Louth, in his earliest youth, and then passed through the hands 
of S. Finnian of Clonard, where he was a companion of S. Columba of 
lona. Thence he started for Rome and Tours, to visit the tombs of 
the Apostles and of S. Martin. On his way home, he tarried some 
time in Britain, where he converted a king and all his house. The 
writer of his Life says that Columba preached to the Saxons, but there 

1 Camden, Britannia, 1594, p. 127, says that this " oppidum mercatorum " 
is " Columbani Scoti viri sanctissimi memoriae consecratum." 

1 6 8 Lives of the British Saints 

is a difficulty in accepting this statement. How was an Irishman, 
who had never been brought in contact with Saxons, to acquire their 
tongue so as to be able to preach in it with fluency ? Moreover, the 
route to and from the Continent was, for the Irish of the southern 
parts of their island, by Forth Mawr near S. David's, then to Milford 
Haven, to cross to Padstowe, thence over the backbone of Cornwall 
to one of the estuaries on the south, where they embarked for Aleth, 
or S. Malo. 

The Life of S. Columba was not written till after his death. Finding, 
whilst in Britain, that one of his disciples was compiling his biography, 
he threw the MS. into the fire, and spoke on the matter so seriously 
to them, that none ventured to commit to writing anything concern- 
ing him, till after his decease. But the Life we have is a much later 
composition, and unhappily only a single copy remains, so that we 
have no means of saying what statements made in it are additions 
by a late redactor. It is quite possible that the editor, in the twelfth 
or thirteenth century, finding in the original that his hero had preached 
to and converted a Rig in Britain, added the information that this 
was a Saxon king. 

It was not till 577 that the West Saxons set their faces to the setting 
sun, and defeated the Britons at Deorham, took and burnt Gloucester, 
Bath, and Cirencester. The Saxons then spread over Somerset to 
the marshes of the Axe below Weston-super-Mare. It was not till 
the second half of the eighth century that Devon was conquered. -f- 

Now, the period when Columba was returning to Ireland must have 
been before 550, and one does not see how he could have ventured 
among Saxons, so far out of his way, and whom, moreover, he could 
not address in their own tongue. 

But if, as we suspect was the case, in crossing Cornwall, so as to 
take ship for Wales, he came into contact with a Domnonian Rig at 
Castel-an-Dinas, and converted him, a necessary consequence would 
be a grant of land, and the founding of a monastic settlement. Con- 
version has two meanings, it is applied to the rescuing of a pagan 
from heathenism, and also to the bringing of a secular into the mon- 
astic life. 

The conversion of a Prince, at Castel-an-Dinas, or Rialton, may have 
been the occasion of the formation of the two parishes of Columb 
Major and Minor, near Newquay, with an acreage of 17,605. 

The only other dedication to S. Columba in the West of England 
is that of the village of Culbone, on the western headland of Porlock 
Bay. The dedication of the church is to S. Culbone, which is a cor- 
ruption, apparently, of Columbanus. But as this cannot be Colum- 

S. Conoc 169 

banus of Luxeuil, we may suspect that we have here the same Columba 
of Tir-da-glas as at Columb in Cornwall. 

On leaving his settlement in Britain, Columba returned to Ireland, 
where his brother Coirpre gave him a site ; there Columba estab- 
lished a monastery, and placed his disciple Cronan in charge of it. 
" Oh, Master ! " exclaimed the latter, " I had set my heart on my 
place of Resurrection being with thee." " So it shall be, in a fashion," 
said Columba, and he cut off one of his own fingers. " There," said 
he, " bury that and make your grave by it." He went thence to 
Clonenagh, in Queen's County, and formed a settlement, and remained 
there over a twelvemonth. 

He made a great many other foundations, and is reported to have 
cured the deafness of a boy named Setna, whom he found herding 
swine on a mountain. He ended his days on Iniskeltra, but, accord- 
ing to his heart's desire, his body was finally transferred to Tir-da- 
glas. It is said of him that such was his gentleness, that the wild 
birds came about him and played, flapping their wings in his face. 

A disciple named Nadcuim said to him, " How is it that we frighten 
the birds away, but they go to you readily ? " " Why should birds 
avoid a bird ? " he answered, playing on his name Columba, that 
signifies a " dove." 

When S. Finnian of Clonard was dying, he sent for Columba, who 
gave him the last Communion. This was in 552. He himself died 
very soon after, in fact in the same year. 

The day of S. Columba of Tir-da-glas is December 13, in the Irish 
Martyrologies. He is mentioned in the Festology of Oengus, as 
" the abstinent Columb." He is in the Donegal Martyrology as well. 
That of Tallagh is deficient in the November and early December 

S. Coulombe in Ille et Vilaine is dedicated to the male Columba. 

He is there represented in monastic habit reading a book, which 
he holds in both hands. There he is commemorated on Sep- 
tember 26. 

S. CONOC, Confessor 

BOCONNOC, in Cornwall, by its name signifies the habitation of 
Conoc. The dedication of the church is not known. 

There was a Conoc or Quonoc, " quern alii sub additamento more 
gentis transmarinae Toquonocum vocant," who was one of the dis- 

I 7 o Lives of the British Saints 

ciples of S. Paul of Leon, " qui et ipse jubente Paulo propter vitae 
merita et sapientiae doctrinam in aliis magistrate gestabat officium." T 
Dom Plaine suggests that he founded Plougaznou, but this is not 
possible ; Gaznou would be the corruption of Gathnovus. We are 
disposed to equate Conoc of Boconnoc with Cynog. See under that 

S. CONSTANTINE, King, Confessor 

CONSTANTINE (Cystennin) was king of Domnonia, comprising Devon 
and Cornwall, in the sixth century. He was the son of Cador or Cado, 
Duke of Cornwall. 

He was unmercifully attacked by Gildas as " the tyrannical whelp 
of the unclean lioness of Domnonia," who, disguising himself as an 
abbot, penetrated to where the sons of Modred, nephew of Arthur, 
had concealed themselves in sanctuary, and had slain them. Geoffrey 
of Monmouth tells the story thus (xi, cc. 3, 4) : " Upon Constan- 
tine's advancement to the throne, the Saxons, with the two sons of 
Modred, made insurrection against him, though without success, for, 
after many battles, they fled, one to London, the other to Winchester. 
Constantine pursued the Saxons, and reduced them under his yoke. 
He also took the two sons of Modred ; and one of them, who had 
fled for sanctuary to the church of S. Amphibalus in Winchester, he 
murdered before the altar. The other had hidden himself in a con- 
vent of friars in London, but at last was found out by him, and brought 
before the altar, and there put to death." 

Geoffrey is absolutely untrustworthy as to the broad lines of history, 
but he worked dexterously into his romance various historical facts 
and traditions, though not always in their proper places. 

Gildas, who was a contemporary, was the original authority for 
this incident. The young ruffians apparently richly deserved their 
fate, and the crime, such as it was, consisted, in his eyes, not in killing 
the princes, but in violating the rights of sanctuary. His words 
are ( 28) : " After taking a dreadful oath, he, nevertheless, in the 
habit of a holy abbot amid the sacred altars, did, with sword and 
javelin, wound and tear two royal youths with their attendants, when 
they were even in the bosoms of their temporal mother, and of the 
church their spiritual mother ; and when he had done it, the mantles, 
red with clotted blood, did touch the place of the holy sacrifice." 

1 Vita S. Pauli Leon., ed. Plaine, p. 28 ; Revue Celtique, v, p. 437. 

S. Constantine 171 

Geoffrey is certainly wrong in making the murders to have taken 
place in London and Winchester. For Winchester, the Caer Wynt 
of the Welsh Brut, we should probably read Caer Went, in Monmouth- 

Geoffrey states that three years later, the vengeance of heaven 
fell on Constantine, who was killed by his nephew Conan. But this 
may have been evolved out of his imagination. 

Gildasgoes on : " Not one worthy act could he boast of, previous 
to this cruel deed ; for, many years before, he had stained himself 
with the abomination of many adulteries, having put away his wife." 
Gildas wrote before 547, probably in 540. Consequently, Constantine 
was then king. 

The Cambrian Annals give 589 as the date of the conversion of 
Constantine. The Annals of Tighernach give 588, those of Ulster 
587, but as the Ulster Annals are a year behind the true computation, 
this yields 588. 

After his conversion he is said to have gone to Menevia, to S. David, 
but this is difficult to reconcile with the dates of David's life, unless 
we accept the entry in the Cambrian Annals that makes David die in 

There were a good many of the name of Constantine, and they 
have been confounded together, or at least several have, in the Legend 
in the Breviary of Aberdeen. 

1. Constantine, styled Corneu ("of Cornwall"), whose daughter 

was married to Peibio, King of Erging. This is supposed to 
) have been Constantine the Tyrant, elevated to the purple by 
the soldiery in Britain in 408, and killed in 411. The fourth 
generation from this Cystennin produced S. Cybi and Gildas. 
Cybi died about 554 and Gildas in 570. As Constantine the 
Usurper may have been young when killed in 411, this will 
allow fairly enough for his identification with Cystennin Gorneu, 
the great -great -grandfather of Cybi and Gildas. 

2. Constantine, King of Domnonia, assailed by Gildas in 540, and 

supposed to have been converted in 589. If he were a man 
of thirty when Gildas wrote, he would have been converted 
at the age of 79 and died a few years later. 

3. Constantine, son of Rhydderch Hael, King of the Cumbrian 

Britons. He was born after the return of Kentigern to Strath- 
clyde in 573. Of him we know very little ; only what we are 
told in the Life of S. Kentigern by Joscelyn, which is this 
The queen (of Rhydderch), Langueth by name, was sterile, 
but, by the benediction and intercession of S. Kentigern, she 

$ /) {/( ftf^r 
u . v-v, L 

172 Lives of the British Saints 

conceived and bore a son, whom the Saint baptized, and to 
whom he gave the name of Constantine. The boy grew up 
in favour with God and man, and after his father's death 
succeeded to the sovereignty of the Northern Cymry, and 
was subject to the bishop, as was his father. And because 
God was with him, he succeeded in controlling all the barbar- 
ous neighbouring nations, without effusion of blood. And 
he excelled all the kings who had reigned before him in Cumbria 
in riches and glory and dignity, and, what was more con- 
siderable, in sanctity. Wherefore, illustrious in merits, finish- 
ing his course in prosperity, he was crowned with glory in 
heaven, " Sanctusque Constantius usque ad prasens solet a 
pluribus appellari." l Rhydderch is supposed to have died 
about 600, and we may put the date of the death of this Con- 
stantine as taking place about 630. 

4. Constantine, son of Fergus, King of the Scots, 789-820. He 

attacked the Picts, defeated them, and became king. 

5. Constantine, son of Kenneth, 863-877 ; he fought against the 

Danes, who had been driven out of Ireland, and \vho entered 
the Firth of Clyde and ravaged Alba, or at all events the 
province of Fife. A battle ensued at Dollar, and the Scots 
were defeated and were pursued by the Northmen as far as 
Inverdovet, in the parish of Forgan, near the Firth of Tay, 
in Fife, where they were again worsted, and there Constantine 
was slain. 

6. Constantine, son of Aedh, 900-946, was engaged in the battle 

of Brunanburgh (937) against Athelstan and his brother Edmund 
the Etheling, when the Scots were in league with the North- 
men against the Saxons. Five years after this great defeat, 
Constantine, worn out with age and disappointment, resigned 
the throne and retired into the monastery of S. Andrew's, 
where he was appointed abbot, and ruled for five years. S. 
Berchan says of him 

Afterwards God did call him 

To the Recles (monastery) on the brink of the waves, 
In the house of the Apostle he came to death. 
Undefiled was the Pilgrim. 

He had lived ten years after his retirement, and his death is recorded 
in the Ulster Annals as taking place in 952. 2 
Constantine styled Corneu (No. i) shall be dealt with later on. 

1 Pinkerton, Lives of the Scottish SS., ed. Metcalfe, Paisley, 1889, ii, p. 70. 

2 Skene, Celtic Scotland, 1880, i, pp. 302, 328, 360. 

S. Cons tan tine 173 

Constantine, son of Fergus (No. 4), is accounted a Saint, but dubi- 
ously, by the Irish Martyrologists, who have confounded him with 
Constantine of Domnonia (No. 2). 

Constantine, son of Kenneth (No. 5), is not accounted a Saint and 
Martyr though falling by the sword of the Northmen, as did also 
Constantine of Domnonia, according to the Legend in the Aberdeen 
Breviary. But Constantine No. 5 fell in Fife in the east of Scotland, 
and Constantine No. 2 in Kintyre in the west. Constantine No. 5 
fell in battle, Constantine No. 2 was slain, without resistance, by a 
party of marauders. 

Constantine No. 6 became a monk, so perhaps did Constantine No. 
4, and so certainly did Constantine No. 2. 

It will be seen that we have here all the material for confusion. 
Let us now take the story of Constantine No. 2, as given in the Aber- 
deen Breviary, very briefly. Details shall follow. 

Constantine, son of Paternus, King of Cornubia, married the queen 
of Lesser Britain (Armorica). On her death he forsook his kingdom, 
crossed into Ireland, and entered a monastery, where he served for 
seven years grinding corn in the mill. Thence he was taken, when 
it was discovered who he was, and was ordained priest. He then 
went to S. Columba at Hy (d. 598), and after that was directed by S. 
Kentigern to preach to the pagans in Goldevia (Galloway), where he 
was elected abbot. He fell a victim to the heathen, who cut off his 
arm, and he bled to death, and died 576. 

The Irish Martyrologies commemorate a Constantine on March 
ii. Oengus, in his Felire, has on that day : " Constantine, king at 
Rathin." (Constantin rig Rathin.) The gloss, which is much later, 
says : "A king of the Britons, who left his kingdom and came for 
his pilgrimage to Raithin in Mochuda's time, i.e., the Coarb (successor) 
of Rathin Mochuda in Delbna Ethra in the west of Meath, and a king 
of Alba was he." l 

The Martyrology of Tallagh calls him, " Constantine, a Briton, 
son of Fergus, of the Picts." 

The Martyrology of Marianus O'Gorman has, under March n, " the 
Briton Constantin of lasting grace." The scholiast on this has, 
" Constantinus films Fergusii de Cruthenis (Picts) oriundus, vel juxta 
alios Brito ; abbas de Rathenia Sti. Mochudae," and with this agrees 
the Martyrology of Donegal. 

Cathal Maguire has the following notice of the Saint : " Constan- 
tinus, rex Britonum regnum abdicavit ; et peregrationis causa, venit 
Ratheniam tempore S. Mochudae. Fuit enim comorbanus (successor). 
1 Filire of Oengus, ed. W. Stokes, Dublin, 1871, p. Ixiii. 

174 Lives of the British Saints 

Sti. Mochudae Rathenin, et ante rex Albania? ; vel est Constantinus 
films Fergusii de Cruthenis oriundus." 1 

. That a Constantine was at Rathin is rendered probable by the fact 
that there is a Cepach Chonsaitin, or Plain of Constantine, near the 
site of the monastery. The poet Ruman MacDuach, whose death 
is entered in the Annals of Tighernach at the year 747, speaks of Con- 
stantine as coming to the Monastery of Rathin, whilst Carthagh or 
Mochuda ruled it, and adds that he cleared a plain for cultivation, 
called after him Magh Constantin. Now, if this poem be genuine, 
Constantine, son of Fergus, who died in 820, is put out of question. 

Mochuda, or Carthagh the younger, was expelled from Rathin by 
Blaithmac, son of Aedh Slane, in 630. He had ruled Rathin for forty 
years, i.e., from 590. And if Constantine succeeded him as abbot he 
must have died about 640-5. The date would agree best with that 
of the son of Rhydderch, but Joscelyn does not say that he retired 
from the world ; and if the monk of Rathin had been the son of so 
famous a prince as Rhydderch, it would have been remembered. 

That Constantine of Rathin was a retired British king, and that 
he was not the son of Fergus, must be allowed. 

We will now turn to another source for the history of the conver- 
sion of Constantine of Domnonia (No. 2). 

In the Life of S. Petrock by John of Tynemouth we have the follow- 
ing story. Whilst he was at Padstow or Bodmin, it is uncertain which, 
on a certain day he saw a stag flying to him, which the hunters of a 
certain wealthy man, Constantine (Constantini cujusdam divitis 
servi venatores) were pursuing with their hounds. The Saint, out 
of pity, sheltered the beast from the hounds, and the hunters, afraid 
to touch the stag under his protection, related the matter to their 
master (Domino al. diviti). He was indignant, and, filled with fierce 
rage, attempted to smite the servant of God with his sword, but be- 
came rigid in all his members, till released by the Saint, when, humbled, 
he and twenty of his soldiers received the faith of Christ, and from 
tyrants they became gentle, and from pagans Christians. 2 

Whether this Constantine were the king, we are not told, we are 
informed that Tewdrig had been king, but he was dead, and was 
succeeded by his son, unnamed. 

But that this Constantine was the Prince of Domnonia would seem 
to have been the general opinion, as near Padstow is the ruined church 
of S. Constantine, which has given its name to a bay, and the feast 

1 Colgan, Ada SS. Hibern., pp. 574-5. 

2 Capgrave, NovaLegenda Anglia, " De Sancto Petroco " ; and Acta SS. Boll., 
Jun. i, p. 392. 

S. Cons tan tine 175 

of S. Constantine was marked in the Bodmin Calendar, and is observed 
to this day in S. Merryn, in which parish is the ruined church. 1 

S. Petroc died about 580, but he may have lived on another ten. 
years, so that there is nothing impossible in his having been the in- 
strument in the conversion of Constantine the king, who had been 
assailed by Gildas. 

If we accept the identification, then we can understand Constan- 
tine, on his conversion, founding three churches in Domnonia, Con- 
stantine near Padstow, where he could learn the elements of the 
religious life under S. Petroc, Constantine in the deanery of Kerrier, 
and Milton Abbot in Devon on the Tamar. This, later, was probably 
part of the royal domain, that passed after the Saxon conquest to 
the Earls of Devon, and Ordgar made it over to the newly-founded 
abbey of Tavistock. 

Having thus done his best to atone for his past offences, Constan- 
tine went to Menevia and placed himself at S. David's. In the Life 
of that Saint we read " The fame of the sweet reputation of holy 
David having been heard, kings, princes, and laymen left their king- 
doms and came to his monastery ; therefore it happened that Con- 
stantine, king of the Cornishmen, left his kingdom, and submitted 
his neck, untamed before his elevation, to the obedience of humility 
in a cell of this father. And there he remained a long time, performing 
faithful service. At length he built a monastery in a distant country. ' ' 2 
We need not conclude from this that S. David was alive all the time. 
It is perhaps more than a coincidence that the adjoining parish to 
S. Constantine's foundation at Milton Abbot should be under the 
invocation of S. Non, the mother of David, and that it should be 
divided only by the river from Landue (Lan-Dewi). 

That Constantine remained long at S. David's can hardly be ad- 
mitted. He made Menevia a halting-place on his way into Ireland. 
There he entered Rathin, the great monastery of Mochuda, without 
announcing who he was, and he was set to work at the quern, grinding 
corn for the monastery, and carrying sacks of grain. 

One day, whilst engaged at the mill, he was overheard to say : 
" Am I Constantine, King of Cornubia, whose head has worn so many 
helmets, whose body has been enveloped in so many corslets ? That 
am I not." The words were reported to the abbot (Carthagh or 
Mochuda), who hastened to receive him within the monastic enclosure, 
and relieve him of menial work. In course of time he was ordained 

1 Hals gives the local pronunciation as Custenton. Gilbert's Cornwall, i, p. 236. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 129. 

176 Lives of the British Saints 

priest. In the abbey he had served for seven years before he was 

Then he resolved on paying a visit to S. Columba at Hy, and he 
went thither, and Columba sent him to S. Kentigern, who bade him 
go to Galloway. He was now extremely old, and he retired into the 
peninsula of Kintyre, where some wicked men, pirates probably, 
murdered him, as already said, by cutting off his arm and letting him 
bleed to death. As Kentigern died about 614, none of these state- 
ments need be anachronisms. 

If we suppose that Constantine was born in . .510 

Then he was abused by Gildas when aged 30 in . 540 

He was converted when aged 79 .... 589 

He visited S. David's and went on to Rathin . . 590 
He left Rathin to see Columba, in the year of the death 

of this Saint, and was sent on to Kentigern . . 597 

vSlain in Kintyre when aged 88 .. . . . 598 

The story as told in the Aberdeen Breviary is confused, but need 
not be rejected as utterly unhistorical. 

S. Constantine's day is March u in the Aberdeen Breviary, and 
in the Irish Martyrologies of Oengus and O'Gorman, of Tallagh, and 
the Drummond Calendar. But in the Bodmin Antiphonary on March 
9. Nicolas Roscarrock enters him on March 8, 9 and 13. The Con- 
stantine Feast at S. Merryn is on March 9. In the Bodmin Calendar 
he was entered as King and Martyr. In Bishop Grandisson's time, 
(1331), there was a Legendarium in the church of S. Constantine, 
which certainly contained his story as received in Cornwall, but this 
no longer exists. 1 There was a chapel of S. Constantine at Illogan, 
in Cornwall, licensed by Bishop Lacey in 1449, and one at Dunsford, 
in Devon, licensed March 13, 1421. 

The church of S. Constantine, in S. Merryn parish, had near it a 
Holy Well of the Saint, but this is now buried under the sands ; the 
water still flows, and has formed a marsh. That there was an exten- 
sive cemetery here in early days, is shown by the numerous bones 
exposed by the drifting sands after a gale. The ruined church stands 
in a most lonely and desolate situation, and can never have been in 
a well populated part. It is suitable as a cell for one who desired to 
be out of the world. 

Having now dismissed Constantine, King and Martyr, we will turn 
our attention to another Constantine, him surnamed Corneu, and to 
the Welsh authorities. 

1 Randolph (H.), Episcopal Registers of the Diocese of Exeter, Grandisson, p. 606. 

S. Constantine 177 



WE are disposed to identify this Constantine, styled Corneu, " of 
Cornwall," with Constantine the Usurper and Cystennin Fendigaid, 
and to regard him as distinct from the Constantine of Gildas. The 
early saintly pedigrees know nothing of a Cystennin as Saint, but they 
give Cystennin Gorneu in the pedigree of S. Cybi. It is somewhat 
doubtful. It runs, Cybi ab Selyf ab Geraint ab Erbin ab Cystennin 
Gorneu, but in the Lives of that Saint, Cybi ab Solomon (Selyf) ab Erbin 
ab Geraint ab Lludd. Mr. Egerton Phillimore is of opinion that by 
Cystennin Gorneu is meant Gildas' Constantine, King of Domnonia. 1 

Llangystennin, in Carnarvonshire, must be dedicated to Cystennin 
Gorneu, for, not far off, within the same deanery, is Llangernyw, 
literally, " the Church of the Cornishman," which is dedicated to S. 
Digain, with whom sometimes is coupled S. Erbin, both of whom 
were sons of Cystennin Gorneu. 

In the Book of Llan Ddv, 2 a church called, among other names, 
Lann Custenhin Garth Benni, situated in Erging, is granted by Peibio, 
son of Erb, the King of Erging, to S. Dubricius. It is now Welsh 
Bicknor, 3 the parish of which lies in Monmouthshire and Hereford- 
shire. We there learn that Peibio was son-in-law to King Constan- 
tine, after whom, we may suppose, the church was called. Peibio 
belonged to the fifth century, so that we cannot identify this Constan- 
tine with the Constantine of Gildas. 

Curiously, the next grant to this in the Book of Llan Ddv is another 
by Peibio, that of Lann Cerniu, 4 otherwise called Cenubia ( = Cernubia), 
also in Erging, and identical, it would appear, with Cum Barruc, in 
the Valley Dore, Herefordshire. The church of Thorpe-Constantine, 
in Staffordshire, is also dedicated to this Saint. 

There has been no little confusion between the Constantine of Gildas 
and the Constantine who was proclaimed Emperor in Britain in 407, 
and whose son Constans, who had previously been a monk, was 
created Caesar by his father, and were both slain in 411. All three 

1 Montgomeryshire Collections, xxv, pp. 334-8 (1891). Constantinus yields in 
mediaeval Welsh the form Custennin, which is preferable to Cystennin. Llan- 
gwstenin, and the less frequent Llangwystenin, are both incorrect. The Celtic 
bronze hand-bell, which belonged to Llangystennin, is now in the Powysland 
Museum at Welshpool. 

2 Pp. 72, 275-6. 

3 It is called Ecclesia Sancti Custenin de Biconovria in a Saint-Florent charter 
of 1144 in the Bibliotheque de I'Ecole des Charles, xl, p. 182 (1879). 

4 P. 192. There is a church called Coed Cernyw, dedicated to All Saints, 
between Newport and Cardiff. 


178 Lives of the British Saints 

have been annexed by Geoffrey, and he makes the second Constantine 
father, not only of Constans, but also of Aurelius Ambrosius (Emrys 
Wledig) and of Uthyr Bendragon. The Cystennin Fendigaid (the 
Blessed) of his Brut is simply the Constantine of 407-11. He is also 
called Cystennin Fendigaid in the Red Book Triads, 1 where his son 
Constans is called Cystennin Fychan (the Younger) . He is also styled 
Cystennin Llydaw, and in the third or latest series of the Triads he is 
stated to have been one of " the Three Foreign Sovereigns of Britain." 2 
He is credited with having been, in conjunction with the Emperor 
Theodosius, the original founder of Bangor Illtyd, that is, Llantwit 
Major. 3 He is given as the grandfather of King Arthur, whose pedi- 
gree is made to run, Arthur ab Uthyr ab Custennin ab Cynfor ab 
Tudwal ab Morfor ab Eudaf ab Cadwr ab Cynan ab Caradog ab Bran. 4 
Among the triplets known as " the Stanzas of the Achievements " 
occurs the following 

The achievement of Cystennin Gorneu 
Was a law, on account of emergencies, 
To suppress war on the borders. 8 

The later genealogies include also among the Welsh Saints Con- 
stantine the Great, son of Maxen Wledig by Elen Luyddog, as well 
as his brothers Owain Finddu, Peblig, and Ednyfed. 6 He is said in 
late documents to have founded the Archbishopric of York, and, 
along with his father, to have founded the church of Caerleon on 
Usk. 7 

The mediaeval Welsh Calendars give only one festival of a Cystennin, 
May 21, which is that of Constantine the Great, the first Christian 

Cystennin the Usurper hardly merits a place among the Saints. 
In 406 a swarm of Vandals, Sueves, and Alans had crossed the Rhine 
and inundated Gaul, ravaging it, and cutting off communication 
between Britain and Rome. Italy had been invaded by Alaric in 
402, it was again invaded by Radagasius in 405. Under the feeble 
sway of Honorius the Western Empire was falling to pieces. In 407 
the Roman soldiers in Britain raised a private soldier Constantine 

1 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 298-9 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 393, 395. 

2 Myv. Arch., p. 405. 3 lolo MSS., p. 134. 

4 Mostyn MS. 117 (thirteenth century). This Cystennin is called Cystennin 
Gorneu in the lolo MSS., p. 137, and is said to have been the father of Arthwg, 
the grandfather of S. Eldad. 5 lolo MSS., p. 264. 

6 Ibid., pp. 113, 138. At the latter reference another brother, Gwythyr, is 
given, and Peblig is said to have been the son of Owain. 

7 Ibid., p. 221 ; Myv. Arch., p. 407. 

S. Constantine 179 

to the purple. The name had a charm for them, and they hoped 
that with the name of the first Christian Emperor he would inherit 
his greatness. The proclamation was made by the second and sixth 
Legions, stationed respectively at Richborough (Rutupiae), and York 
(Eburacum). For the four succeeding years, the legions in Britain 
and Gaul were of no service towards the Empire. This revolt made 
its ruin all the more complete and speedy. From Britain Constan- 
tine crossed into Gaul, and the Roman legions there revolted and 
joined his standard. 

It is somewhat remarkable that Gildas, who speaks of the previous 
revolt of Maximus with such horror, and of him as " accursed," should 
say not one word against the usurper Constantine ; and this looks 
much as though he regarded Constantine with respect and his memory 
with tenderness. 

Stilicho sent Sarus the Goth to oppose the progress of the Usurper, 
and he defeated and killed Justinian, and contrived the assassination 
of Nervigastes, the two ablest generals of Constantine. The latter 
was besieged by Sarus in Vienne, but Edobincus and Gerontius, two 
generals who had replaced those who had been slain, came to his aid, 
and drove the besiegers back over the Alps. 

Constantine now fixed his court at Valence on the Rhone, and turned 
his arms against the inrushing Vandals, Sueves, and other barbaric 
hordes, and pushed them back, so that the Rhine frontier was safer 
than it had been since the days of Julian. He proceeded to send his 
son, Constans, into Spain, and in 408 this prince he had been created 
Caesar was pressing hard the troops that remained faithful to Hono- 
rius in the peninsula. 

In the early days of the year 409, Constantine, who was now master 
of the three great provinces of the West, sent eunuch ambassadors 
to the court of Honorius, to excuse his usurpation on the plea that 
he had been compelled to it by the soldiery. Honorius deemed it 
safest to come to terms with the " tyrant," and he recognized him 
as a partner in the Empire. 

Constantine then entered Italy at the head of a strong army, with 
the secret intention of deposing the feeble Honorius, and making 
himself master of the whole Western Empire. He had halted under 
the walls of Verona, when he was suddenly recalled to Gaul by the 
defection of his general Gerontius, who, having the command of the 
army in Spain, persuaded the troops to support his revolt. Gerontius 
moved at once, into Gaul and took prisoner and put to death Constans, 
the son of Constantine, at Vienne. Constantine threw himself into 
Aries, and was there besieged by Gerontius. But an army sent by 

i 8 o Lives of the British Saints 

Honorius compelled Gerontius to raise the siege and fly to the Pyrenees, 
where he soon after perished. 

In Aries, in expectation of receiving little consideration from Hono- 
rius, Constantine took refuge in a church, when the troops of Honorius 
surrounded the city. He accepted ordination as priest, thereby 
finally abandoning all claims to the imperial throne. After having 
received a solemn promise of safety, confirmed by oaths, he opened 
the city gates, and was taken along with a son, Julian, and sent as 
prisoners to Rome. A conscientious observance of oaths was not a 
feature in the character of the despicable Honorius, and he ordered 
both captives to be put to death, when they were still thirty miles 
distant from Ravenna. 

Constantine was an able general, and had his revolt succeeded, he 
might have staved off for a whilefthe downfall of the Western Empire. 

S. CORBRE, Confessor 

IN Peniarth MS. 176 (of the middle of the sixteenth century), 
known as the Book of Griffith Hiraethog, occurs the entry, " Eglwys 
gorbre sant ymonn," "S. Corbre's Church in Anglesey," by which 
is intended the church of Hen Eglwys, " the Old Church." x The 
church is also called " Llan y Saint Llwydion," " the Church of the 
Holy Saints." 2 It is usually said to be dedicated to a S. Llwydian, 
with festival on November 19 or 22, but he has clearly been 
evolved out of the last name. 

Mynwent Corbre, " Corbre's Cemetery," is mentioned in the twelfth 
century Black Book of Carmarthen, 3 in one of the " Verses of the 
Graves," which are memorials of the places of sepulchre of about 200 
warriors and persons of distinction connected with the early history 
of Britain. The triplet may be rendered thus 

The grave of Ceri Gleddyfhir (the Long-sworded) is in the confine of Hen 


On the gravelly cliff ; 
Tarw Torment (the Bull of Conflict) in the cemetery of Corbre. 

Corbre is the Welsh form of the rather common Irish name Cairbre. 
There are three Saints of this name commemorated in the Irish Mar- 

1 Dr. J. Gwenogvryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 978. 

2 Ibid., p. 912. 

3 Ed. Dr. J. G. Evans, 1906, p. 63. There is a farm called Corbre in Llan- 
llechid, Carnarvonshire. 

S. Corentine i 8 i 

tyrologies. Cairbre Crum, Bishop of Clonmacnoise, on March 6, but 
he lived in the ninth century. Cairbre, Bishop of Moville, occurs on 
May 3, but there is no record as to the period at which he lived. The 
third is Cairbre or Coirpre, Bishop of Coleraine, on November u. He 
was a disciple of S. Finnian of Clonard and flourished about 540. x 

Corbre is, no doubt, the original patron of Hen Eglwys. In the 
Extent of 1352 the villa liber a of Hen Eglwys is given as held of SS. 
Faustinus and Bacellinus, 2 by whom must be meant " Y Saint Llwy- 
dion." Of Bacellinus nothing seems to be known, nor anything 
definitely of Faustinus ; but it is curious to note that Faustinus and 
Aftfrcellinus, Roman priests, are coupled together as two Luciferians 
that were exiled in 369, in the time of Pope Damasus. The only name 
approximating these on November 19 or 22 is Faustus on the igth, 
an obscure Eastern martyr of the early fourth century. A Marcellinus 
is coupled with Marcellus as patron of Llanddeusant, also in Anglesey. 
They may have been the two Popes Marcellus (January 16) and 
Marcellinus (April 26), martyrs in the early fourth century, the former 
of whom succeeded the latter as Pope ; but the Gwyl Mabsant of the 
parish, September 25, does not favour the supposition. A Marcellus 
is supposed to be patron also of Martletwy, Pembrokeshire. 

S. CORENTINE, Bishop, Confessor 

THIS Saint was the son of one of the colonists from Britain in the 
fifth century, and was born about the year 410. He retired into soli- 
tude in Plou-Vodiern in Armorican Cornouaille, and was granted 
lands by Grallo. He is reckoned the first Bishop of Quimper, and 
he signed the Canons of the Council of Angers in 453. Among these 
was one condemning " those vagabond monks who ramble about 
unnecessarily, and without letters of recommendation," a blow levelled 
against the Celtic Saints, who were greatly addicted to this rambling, 
but who did so to good purpose, for the establishment of lanns or 
religious centres for the several clans or tribes. 

Corentine had a little pool, with a spring of water in it, near his 
cell. By a special miracle, a fish lived in this basin, which served 
Corentine with a meal every day. He put his hand into the water, 
drew out the fish, cut off as much of its flesh as he wanted, and then 

1 Colgan, Acta SS. Hibern., pp. 313, 406 ; Trias Thaumat., pp. 183, 380. 

2 Record of Carnarvon, 1838, p. 44. Lewis Morris, Celtic Remains, pp. 183, 242, 
gives the former saint by mistake as Franciscinus. 

I 8 2 Lives of the British Saints 

threw it back into the spring, where it recovered itself before his 
next meal. There was a lame priest, a hermit, named Primael, who 
had a chapel at Chateauneuf-du-Faou. Corentine went to visit him. 
He slept the night at his hermitage, and next morning Primael went 
to fetch water from the spring, which was at some distance. As the 
old man was lame, and the way long, Corentine pitied him, and driving 
his staff into the ground, elicited a bubbling fountain at the hermit's 

Two eminent Saints visited him one day. Corentine was in despair. 
He had flour, and could give them pancakes for dinner, but pancakes, 
before it was understood how to season them with sugar, nutmeg, 
and lemon, were thought to be very insipid. He went to his fountain 
to have a look at the fish. It would be like killing the goose that 
laid the golden eggs, if he broiled for his visitors the entire fish. But, 
to his great joy, he found the spring full of plump eels. He cooked 
them for dinner in light wine ; and his visitors left, praising heaven 
for having given them so dainty a meal. 

However, one day King Grallo lost his way when hunting, and 
arrived hungry at the cell of the Saint. Corentine was obliged then to 
cut an unduly large slice out of the back of his fish. The king's cook, 
without whom Grallo prudently did not lose himself, scoffed at the 
small supply, but as he began to fry the slice of fish, it multiplied in 
the pan sufficiently to satisfy the king and all who came to the her- 
mitage. Grallo was naturally curious to see the fish itself, and Coren- 
tine took him to the fountain, where they found the creature frolicking 
about quite uninjured. An attendant of the king tried his knife on 
the fish, and the wound remained unhealed till Corentine discovered 
what had been done, restored the fish to soundness, and bade it depart 
lest it should get into mischief again through the concourse of the 
curious who would be sure to come to the fountain on hearing of the 
miracle. The prose for the feast of S. Corentine in the Quimper 
Breviary says that it was the bishop of Leon who tried his knife on 
the fish, but the lesson for the festival in the Leon Breviary repudiates 
the charge, and lays the blame on an attendant of the king. Grallo, 
charmed with the miracles he had witnessed, presented the forest 
and the hunting-lodge of Plou-Vodiern to the Saint. 

The Life of S. Corentine J is late and a very unsatisfactory production. 

1 Bibliotheque Nat., Paris, MSS. Lat. 12,665, f. 236 ; MSS. Fr. 22,321, f. 728, 
from the Breviaries of S. Brieuc and Nantes. Vita Sti. Corentini in Bullet, de 
la Soc. Arch, de Finistlre, xii, pp. 148, et seq. A Life composed in the thirteenth 
century. Also a Life in Albert le Grand from the Breviaries of Quimper, Leon 
and Nantes. 

From a Statue at the Abbey of Landevenec. 

S. Corentine 183 

It is meagre in historical detail, and diffuse in hortatory matter, which 
is conventional " padding." It was written after 848, when Nominoe 
asserted the independence of the Breton sees from the archiepiscopal 
crosier of Tours, and organized them under the metropolitanate of 
Dol. Dom Plaine, who has edited this Life, thinks with reason that 
it was composed before the Translation of the body of S. Corentine, 
shortly after 876. It was written for a polemical purpose, by some 
ecclesiastic adverse to the independence of the Breton Church, and 
who sought to give an historic basis for the claim to supremacy by 
the Church of Tours. It represents, accordingly, S. Corentine as going 
to Tours to receive consecration to the see of Quimper, at the hands 
of S. Martin, and as submitting to him a couple of abbots for con- 

The fraudulent composer of the Life was as stupid as he was 
unprincipled. He makes Corentine, who signed the decrees of the 
Council of Angers in 453, a contemporary of S. Martin, who died in 
401. He makes him an associate with S. Padarn and S. Malo. Pater- 
nus of Vannes was, indeed, his contemporary, but the author confounds 
him with Padarn the cousin of S. Samson, who died about 560. And 
S. Malo died in or about 627. What seems to be fairly established 
is that Corentine was a contemporary of Grallo, King of Cornouaille, 
but the date of this prince cannot be fixed with any accuracy. Dom 
Plaine (Grallo le Grand, Vannes, 1893) makes him rule from 480 to 520. 
De la Borderie holds that he died in 505. 

The compiler of the Life makes Winwaloe and Tudy disciples of 
S. Corentine, and appointed to their abbacies by him ; whereas Win- 
waloe, born about 480, became a disciple of S. Budoc, about 492, 
and was established at Tibidy not before 515, and certainly did not 
found Landevenec much before 518. 

Corentine may have known Winwaloe, but did not stand to him 
in the relation of master to pupil. 

Relying on this most untrustworthy Life, many writers have as- 
sumed that there must have been two Corentines, Bishops of Quimper, 
separated from each other by the interval of a century. But the 
date that nails Corentine is that of the Council of Angers, 453, to the 
decrees of which he subscribed, and we are bound to reject all 
the incidents introduced by the late and interested biographer for 
polemical purposes. 

The date of Corentine's death may have been 500, not later, prob- 
ably somewhat earlier. What was his connexion with Cornwall is 
difficult to determine. It is probable that Cury was a foundation 
made by Breton settlers planted by King Athelstan after 935. 

184 Lives of the British Saints 

In the Exeter Marty rology his feast is marked on May i, the day 
of his Translation, but in the parish of Cury it is observed on Novem- 
ber 2. 

In the dioceses of Leon, Quimper, and S. Brieuc, his day is December 
12 ; in that of Nantes, on December n. 

Sir Harris Nicolas gives as well September 5, on which day he is 
commemorated at Tours, and is inserted in the French Martyrologies. 

Cury parish, it will be noticed, adjoins that of Gunwaloe, dedicated 
to S. Winwaloe, supposed but incorrectly to have been his disciple. 

In Brittany S. Corentine is invoked against paralysis. He has there 
numerous churches and chapels, especially in the diocese of Quimper. 
At Serignac are two chapels under his invocation. 

In art he is represented with a fountain at his side, in which is a 

There can be little hesitation in conjecturing that to him has de- 
scended a mythological attribute ; the sun is the imperishable gold- 
fish that swims athwart the basin of the blue sky. It dies daily, and 
as often revives. 

The same story attaches to other Saints, and therefore it is probably 
an early myth which adhered here and there, when the Celtic people 
adopted Christianity. 



S. CRALLO, Confessor 

S. CRALLO was son of S. Sadwrn Farchog by S. Canna, daughter 
of Tewdwr Mawr, of Armorica. His mother subsequently married 
Alltu Redegog, and he was thus half-brother to S. Elian Ceimiad. 
This " nephew, brother's son to Illtyd, came with Garmon to this 
island, and became a saint in Illtyd's Cor. He founded a church and 

S. Creda 185 

a Cor at Llangrallo, where he lies buried." l He is also said 2 to 
have been " contemporary with S. Lleirwg," i.e. Lucius ; a statement 
which does not deserve any consideration. 

The only church dedicated to him is Llangrallo, 3 now better known 
as Coychurch (for Coed Church), in Glamorganshire. It adjoins 
Llangan, of which his mother is patroness. A circular stone cross in 
Coychurch churchyard, once bearing an inscription, now illegible, has 
been supposed to mark his grave. 4 Edward Lhuyd says his holy well, 
Ffynnon Grallo, is near the south side of the church, and that his 
festival, which does not occur in any Calendar, was observed on 
August 8. 

Among the " Sayings of the Wise " is the following 5 

Hast them heard the saying of Crallo, 
When there was nothing stirring ? 
" It is easy to make the wry-mouthed weep." 
(Hawdd peru i fingam wylo.) 

Curiously, the expression " Yr hen Grallo," " the old Crallo," is 
used in Glamorganshire as a term of reproach in the sense of a crazy 
fellow. 6 

S. CREDA, or CRIDA, Widow 

IN the Life of S. Cainnech or Canice, of Kilkenny and Aghaboe, 
and in a few stray notices elsewhere, is all we learn about this Saint. 

She was the daughter of Senach Ron, son of Nathi of the Hy Eircc 
family. He is called Ron or Ronan, King of Leinster, but he was not 
more than a chieftain. He retired from the world into a monastery, 
and became an intimate friend of S. Canice, who calls him "'one of 
my monks," or, in another copy, " one of my friends." 7 S. Canice 
was a pupil of S. Cadoc of Llancarfan. One day he told his monks 
that he had heard the voice of Senach Ron calling him, as from a great 
distance, and that he knew he was dead, but that he had striven with 
Satan to save the soul of his disciple. Senach Ron had been killed 

1 lolo MSS., p. 132 ; cf. also pp. 134, 220, where he is called " brother in the 
faith to Illtyd." 2 Ibid., pp. 100, 220. 

3 Browne Willis, Survey of Llandaff, 1719, append, p. 3, errs in giving it as 
dedicated to S. Illog (August 8). 

4 lolo MSS., pp. 365-6. 5 Ibid., p. 255. 

8 Compare with it Llelo and lolyn, diminutives of Llewelyn and lorwerth. 
7 " Qui michi corpus et animam suam et stipem suosque agros obtulit." 
Vita in Salam. Cod., coll. 367-8. 

i 8 6 Lives of the British Saints 

in the south of Leinster. Senach was of Iverk in the south-west 
of Ossory, which was occupied by his clan, the Hy Eircc, and was a * 
cousin of S. Colman of Iverk. 

One day Findach, a robber, came to the church near the house 
where Creda was, and concealed himself in a thorn tree above the 
holy well, hard by, waiting for an opportunity to break into the 
church and rob it. 

Whilst he was there concealed, Crida came to the well to .wash her 
hands. Findach, beholding her beauty, forgot about the church 
treasure and carried her off instead. 1 By him she became the mother 
of S. Boethin, who is commemorated on May 22. 

In the Felire of Oengus she is spoken of thus : 

Cred, good was the woman, 
Daughter of Ronan, King of Leinster. 
With her lovable church, constant, pure, 
Mother of Boethin, son of Findach. 

In the Martyrology of Donegal, on August n, is the commemoration 
of " the Daughter of Senach," but it does not give her name. 

She is given on this day by Sir Harris Nicolas as Credyw. 

She had a church at Kilcredy, in the deanery of Ida, dedicated to 
her, and that was probably the place of her residence. Another 
of her churches is Kilcready in Upper Ossory. These two churches, 
and another in Rosture, now Rosmore, near Kilmanagh, are the only 
mementos of her existence in the land. 

Aedh, son of Senach, was one of the ecclesiastics who accompanied 
S. Moling, Bishop of Ferns, about 673, to obtain the remission of the 
Boromsean tribute of cows paid by the Leinster men to the king of 
Ireland. It has been supposed that he w 7 as brother of S. Crida, but 
it is hardly possible to put Crida so late. S. Canice, her father's 
friend, died at the age of eighty-four in 598 ; there is no reason for 
supposing that Senach Ron became a monk and died, till he was at a 
good age, and we can hardly put S. Crida down as living later than 
670. Aedh must have been a grandson and not son of Senach. She 
must have had sisters, for the Martyrology of Tallagh gives, on 
August n, " the daughters of Senach." 

In Bishop Stapeldon's Register, Creed is called Ecclesia Sanctae 
Crida:! (1310) ; so also in those of Bytton (1314) and Brantyngham 
(1375), and in the Taxatio of 1291. Grade may also have her as an 
earlier patroness than the Holy Cross. In Bronescombe's Register 
the church is that Stae. Crucis de Rosewycke, 1261 ; but Brantyngham 
gives it as Ecclesia Stae. Gradae, 1381. 

1 Gloss on F&lire of Oengus, ed. Whitley Stokes, p. Ixxxix. 

From Fresco in Lanivet Church (restored). 

S. C red an 187 

It may be noticed that Creed is not in the district colonized by SS. 
Senan, la, Ere, Breaca, Burien, and Ciaran. But then she belonged 
to a century, or nearly a century, later, viz. to that of S. Finbar, with 
whom possibly she may have come. 

On account of the population having drifted to Grampound, the 
church of S. Creed has been recently restored from a condition of ruin. 
It is picturesquely situated, and is very late in architecture. 

S. Creed Feast is on the Sunday nearest to November 30. 

In 1411 Ralph Tregrisiou, Dean of Exeter, bequeathed to the church 
of S. Crida, the Virgin, " ubi fui oriundus," 405. to the store for the 
church, and a silver cup engraved with the Arms of the See. A fresco 
representing a female saint labelled " S. Crede," crowned, and holding 
a sceptre, was uncovered in Lanivet church. There was a chapel of 
S. Crida at Padstow. 

S. CREDAN, Abbot, Confessor 

LELAND (Coll., i, 10) says that the body of this Saint reposed at 
Bodmin. He, with Medan and Dagan or Dachuna, were disciples of 
S. Petrock. 

Some difficulty exists as to his parentage. A Credan, brother of 
Dagan, was son of Colman and Coeltigherna, and was nephew of S. 
Coemgen of Glendalough. 

Another Credan was son of Illadhan or lolladan, whom we find at 
Illogan, and is variously called Criotan, Critoc, Cred, Credan and 
Mocritoc. The terminations oc and an are used indifferently as 

The date of the death of the former Credan would be about 650. 
That of the latter about 580, as his uncle Cairbre Dubh, King of 
Leinster, died in 546. 

Petrock and Coemgen (Kevin) were certainly associated together 
for a while, and Petrock probably died in 580, somewhat earlier than 

The son of Illadhan is too late to have been the disciple of Petrock. 
The Credan of Bodmin was Dagan's brother. The Credan at Sancreed 
we suspect was the son of Illadhan. 

Nicolas Roscarrock, in speaking of Sancreed, says : " I have harde 
that they have by tradition there that he killed, by misfortune, his 
owne father, with which he was so moved as abandoning the world 

i 8 8 Lives of the British Saints 

he became a hogherd, and lived so exemplarly as he was after esteemed 
a saint." 

In Bishop Grandisson's Register, 1331 and 1332, Sancreed is given 
as dedicated to S. Credus. In Brantyngham's Register, S. Cretus, 
1374, 1378. In Bishop Stafford's Register he becomes S. Sancreotus, 
but in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas he is S. Credus. He went to 
Ireland and settled at Aghamanach in Moyne and Ballinachor in the 
County of Wicklow. It is " The plain of the monks," encircled by 
sheltering hills, in a highly romantic situation. Not far off are the 
townlands of East and West Macredin or Moycredin, the Magh, or 
plain, of S. Credan. Illadhan, his father, was son of Cormac, King of 
Leinster. His great-aunts were baptized by S. Patrick about 460. 

The aunts of S. Credan were probably the founders of a church at 
Camborne, and one at Sithney. As Illadhan died about 560, we may 
suppose that Credan died in 590. 

In the Irish Calendars S. Credan or Mocritoc, the son of Illadhan, is 
given on May n. Whytford gives August 20. 

A Bishop Credan or Criotan of Mahee Island, County Down, is 
commemorated on May 17 ; he died in 632 or 638, but he is out of the 

Another Saint of the same name, commemorated on November 18, 
and again another on December 13, found in the later Martyrologies, 
are known only by name. 

S. CREWENNA, Virgin 

THIS Saint, according to Leland and William of Worcester, was one 
of the party of Irish that came over and settled in Penwith and Kerrier 
in Cornwall at the dawn of the sixth century. 

The parish church of Crowan is dedicated to her, and her feast is 
observed on February 2. 

The Bollandists gave her on October 27, but merely as one of a 
number of Cornish Saints whom they lump together with S. Hia, 
whom Challoner arbitrarily inserted on this day. It will, therefore, 
be seen that there is no traditional or other warrant for giving October 
27 to S. Crewenna. 

The name is common in the Irish Calendars as Croine or Crone. 
There was one so called at Kilcrony in Wicklow, where are the remains 
of a very early church. She is commemorated on January 27. 

S. Crewenna 189 

Another Croine, Virgin, was of Tallagh, in the County of Dublin, 
and is commemorated on February 25. 

Another Croine Becc, or Croine the Little, on July 7 ; she was of 
Tempull-Croine in Donegal. 

Another, again, on October 15, of whom nothing is known, not even 
to what part of Ireland she belonged. 

But Crewenna is certainly the first of these. Not only do the 
Irish Saints who settled in Cornwall all belong to the south of Ireland, 
but the feast is observed in the Octave of the day on which Croine of 
Kilcrony is venerated in Ireland. 

But who this Croine was is not so easy to determine. Leland 
distinctly asserts that she came over with Breaca and Germoc, and that 
migration took place about 500. 

Some of these Saints went on to the Continent and visited Rheims 
in 509, and among those whose names are given by Flodoard is 
Promptia. One is disposed to equate Promptia with Crewenna,. 
as the hard C of the Gaelic would become P in Brythonic. 

There was a Croine sister of Ainmire, King of Ireland 568-71, and 
daughter of Setna MacErc. She is invoked in S. Moling's poem on 
the Saints of Leinster 

O nun of Cethanladet, 

O highly happy nun, 

O Croine, daughter of Setna, 

Bless the track of my way ! 

But this cannot have been the Croine who crossed over with Breaca. 

Again, in the Life of S. Molua, of Clonfert, we have a story relative- 
to a Croine, his sister ; they were the children of Carthach the Red. 

Molua had been on a visit to Wexford. On his return to his own 
people, the Hy Fidgeinte, in Kerry, he found his sister Croine dead,, 
or apparently so, and women were weeping around her. 

" May the everlasting joy be for thee in heaven, sister," exclaimed' 
S. Molua. Hearing his voice, she opened her eyes and smiled. 

Then he bade her rise and accompany him to the church, where- 
he celebrated the Eucharist, and communicated her. And when he 
had so done, she said, " I am aweary, let me enter into my rest." 

So she returned to her bed, laid herself down, and died. 1 

S. Setna, disciple of Senan of Iniscathy, was a friend of Molua, and 
the latter may have entrusted his sister to Setna, or to Senan, to bring 
over to Cornwall. But Molua's death in 608 is too late to allow 
that his sister can have come across with the first swarm of Irish. 

1 Vita S. Lugidi (Moluae), Acta SS. Hib., Cod. Sal., col. 280. 

190 Lives of the British Saints 

Saints, unless she was very much older than himself. Molua was 
confessor to Aidan of Ferns, disciple of S. David. 

On the whole, therefore, it is impossible to equate Croine, sister of 
Molua, with the Croine or Crewenna who settled in Cornwall, for just 
a century intervenes between her settlement there and Molua's death. 

We are rather disposed to think that Crewenna is the Croine of 
Kilcrony in Wicklow, of whom, unhappily, nothing is known. There 
would seem, however, to have reigned great confusion between the 
saints of the same name. The Saint of Kilcrony is supposed to have 
been the sister of Ainmire. But this she cannot have been if she be 
the same as Crewenna. 

Croine of Kilcrony is commemorated in the Martyrology of Donegal, 
in that of Tallagh, in that of O'Gorman, but not in the Felire of Oengus. 
It is remarkable that Croine should be venerated on the day before 
Aedcobran, who was one of the party that left Ireland, visited Cornwall 
and crossed into Brittany, and thence went on to Rheims, where 
they were received by S. Remigius in 509. x 

Whytford, in his Martiloge, gives on April 24 "The feest of Saynt 
Crowne a virgyn." 

S. CRISTIOLUS, Confessor 

CRISTIOLUS was a son of Hywel Fychan ab Hywel Faig (called also 
Hywel Farchog) ab Emyr Llydaw, and the brother of S. Rhystud. 
He is occasionally said to have been son of Hywel ab Emyr Llydaw. 2 

He is the patron of Llangristiolus, in Anglesey, and also, it is said, 
of Eglwys Wrw and Penrhydd or Penrieth, in Pembrokeshire. For 
Eglwys Wrw, see under S. GWRW. Ecton attributes also to him, but 
wrongly, the church of Clydai, in the latter county. 

The Festival of S. Cristiolus is November 3, and his name is entered 
.against that day in a great many of the Welsh Calendars. 

S. CUBY, see S. CYBI 

1 See under S. ACHEBRAN. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 269 ; lolo MSS., p. 133 ; Myv. Arch., p. 420. At 
the last reference he is also given as son of " Owen ap Yner o Frydain Fach," 
.clearly a misreading. 


S. Cuneada 191 

S. CUHELYN, Confessor 

CUHELYN, or Cyhelyn, was a son of Caw, and bore the epithets 
Bardd and Moel. He is no doubt the same person as Celyn Moel. 
He is said to have been a member of Cadoc's Choir at Llancarfan, 1 
but nothing is known of him. He may have been the Cuelinus, a 
clericus of Dubricius, who witnessed the grant of Forth Tulon, in 
Gower, to the Church of Llandaff. 2 He is not to be confounded, at 
any rate, with the bard Cuhelyn, who lived in the eleventh century, and 
to whom two poems in the Black Book of Carmarthen 3 are ascribed. 
See also under S. CELYN FOEL. 


THE name of Cunedda Wledig, like those of Brychan and Caw, is 
entered among the Welsh Saints more as the ancestor of one of the 
three great lines of Saints than for any other claim that he may have 
had. Some of the most illustrious of the Welsh Saints for instance 
David, Teilo, and Seiriol were descended from him. So were also 
the kings of Gwynedd. 

He was the son of Edern ab Padarn Beisrudd, and his pedigree is 
traced up to Beli Mawr. His mother was Gwawl, the daughter of 
Coel Hen, the ancestor of another powerful race. His pedigree would 
lead one to suppose that he had Roman blood in his veins. 

According to the Old- Welsh genealogies in Harleian MS. 3859, he 
was the father of nine sons Tybion, Osfael, Rhufon, Dunod, Ceredig, 
Abloyc, Einion Yrth, Dogfael, and Edern. 4 They were all warriors, 
and none of them come within the category of Saints. 

Welsh tradition says that Cunedda and his sons came to Wales 
from the North, where he defended the Roman Wall with a cavalry 
of 900 horse. He is spoken of as a man from Coelin, probably Kyle, 
in Ayrshire. Nennius also describes him and his sons as coming 
from the North from Manaw Gododin, a district near the Firth of 

3 lolo MSS., pp. 109, 116, 136, 142-3. 2 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 76. 

3 Ed. Dr. J. Gwenogvryn Evans, 1906, pp. 9-17. 

4 Y Cymmrodor, ix, pp. 182-3. There is a list of his sons in Vita S. Carantoci 
(Cambro-British Saints, pp. 100-1), where they are also said to be nine. The 
names are given in the same order, but with variations in spelling. Later lists 
occur, e.g. in Jesus College MS. 20, and Peniarth MSS. 129 (circa 1500), and 75 
{sixteenth century). The old form of Cunedda's name was Cunedag. Possibly his 
name has survived in the name of the hill, Allt Canadda (Cenadda, Cynedda), in 
the parish of Kidwelly. 

192 Lives of the British Saints 

Forth. This Cuneddan occupation of Wales took place in the early 
fifth century, and was of the nature of a tribal migration. 

The later form of the tradition 1 says that Cunedda " sent sons to 
Gwynedd against the Goidels which came with Serigi the Goidel to 
Anglesey, and other places, and had taken the greater portion of that 
country from the inhabitants, where there were no princes over them." 
They succeeded, we are told, in expelling the Goidels, and " then the 
men of Gwynedd gave those princes possession of the lands which 
they had won." Each district was re-named after its conqueror, but 
some names occur which do not appear in the foregoing list of sons. 
The conquered country, comparing the various accounts, was appor- 
tioned thus 

Tybion, the eldest son, having died in Manaw Gododin, his son 
Meirion, as chief of the Cuneddan family, divided the territories among 
his uncles. He himself had Meirionydd ; Arwystl, Arwystli ; Ceredig, 
Ceredigion ; Donod, Dunodig (the commotes of Ardudwy and 
Eifionydd) ; Edeyrn, Edeyrnion ; Mael, Dinmael ; Dogfael, Dog- 
feiling ; Rhufon, Rhufoniog ; Coel, Coeleion (the last four in Den- 
bighshire) ; Oswael, Osweilion (round Oswestry) ; and Einion Yrth, 
Caer Einion. Another son, Gwron, is sometimes given to Cunedda, 
but this is probably a mistake for Corun, his grandson. His daughter 
Gwen was wife of Amlawdd Wledig. 

Cunedda's power was great. He was the Gwledig (Over-king), 
or Dux Britannise, and had his court at Caer Liwelydd, or Carlisle. 
His house in the sixth century was so powerful that Maelgwn 
Gwynedd (Insularis Draco, as Gildas styles him) held sway over the 
whole of Wales, and also Cumbria to some extent. After Maelgwn's 
death, " Greater Wales " gradually shrank, but the Cuneddan 
dynasty only ended with Llywelyn ab Gruffydd. 

There is an elegy on Cunedda in the thirteenth century Book of 
Taliessin. 2 

One of the documents printed in the lolo MSS. 3 mentions a " S. 
Cunedda Hen, a man of Israel, who came as bishop to S. Lleurwg 
(Lucius) ab Coel ab Cyllin, from Rome," but he is quite apocryphal. 

S. CURIG, Bishop, Confessor 

CURIG LWYD is famous in Wales. He is mentioned repeatedly by 

1 lolo MSS., pp. i2i 2. 2 Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, pp. 2002. 

3 P. 136. A Cunedda ab Henwyn, prince of Cornwall, occurs in Geoffrey's 
Brut, and a twelfth century Cunedda ab Cadwallon in Brut y Tywysogion. 

S. Curig 193 

the Welsh bards. These generally style him Curig Lwyd, the Blessed, 
and occasionally Curig Farchog, or the Knight. 

The Welsh saintly genealogies do not pretend to give his pedigree. * 
Lewis Morris, in the middle of the eighteenth century, says " We 
are told that this Curig was a foreigner, and that it was on the top 
of this hill (in Llangurig parish) "he first rested, after he had landed 
at Aberystwyth ; from hence he perceived a fine valley (of the Wye) 
before him, where he determined to build a church in a sheltered 
spot." 2 It consisted at first, as we may gather, of a humble cell and 
chapel, which subsequently became a church, though not yet of spacious 
dimensions, celebrated for the beauty of its architecture and the 
elegant carving and design of its roof. The rock on the hill whereon 
the pilgrim sat, is to this day called Eisteddfa Gurig, his Seat. The 
hill is 1,358 feet above the sea. 

After the Norman occupation of Wales, the conquerors where 
possible displaced the native Saints as patrons of the churches, 
and placed them under the invocation of Saints in the Roman 
Calendar. S. Curig had everywhere to make way for Cyriacus, the 
boy martyr, with his mother Julitta. This produced confusion in 
the minds of the Welsh, and the legend of Curig Lwyd got vitiated 
by being mixed up with that of the youthful martyr of Tarsus. 

There exists in Welsh a translation of a Latin Life of S. Cyriacus, 
which has a noteworthy appendix. 3 It runs " Know all men how 
S. Ciric came to be honoured in Wales, and obtained his glory and 
honour on account of his miracles. There is a township (or parish) 
in Wales, called Llan Giric, on the confines of three countries, to wit, 
Arwystli, Melienydd and Ceredigion. In that township there was 
an uncle to Ciric, named Maelgwn, who was a monk ; and he sent his 
servants to Ceredigion to collect his provisions. When they were 
coming homewards with their horses and burdens, the huntsmen of 
Maelgwn Gwynedd met them and laid hands on them, intending to 
break into the sacks and steal the food. Their hands got stuck to the 
sacks, and they were dragged (by the horses) as far as to Maelgwn 
the monk's cell ; and the Saint with difficulty loosened them by his 

1 lolo MSS., p. 145, give Cirig Sant as son of Urien (or Arawn) ab Cynfarch, 
but the name is a misreading of Ciwg. 

* Cambrian Register (1799), ii, p. 491. 

3 Buchedd Ciric occurs in Llanstephan MSS. 34 (end of sixteenth century) 
and 104 (early eighteenth century). In MS. 164 is a poem in which Curig and 
other Welsh Saints are invoked, written by Rhisiart ab Rhys, of Llanharan 
(fifteenth sixteenth century), but it adds nothing to our knowledge of the 
Saint. In the Hystoria Gweryddon yr Almaen, in Peniarth MS. 182 (c. 1514), 
it is said that, in the time of S. Ursula, " there was a Pope in Rome, descended 
from the Britons, whose name was Kiric." 


194 Lives of the British Saints 

prayers. Then went they to Maelgwn Gwynedd, loudly bewailing 
their misfortune. Maelgwn was filled with pride, and thought not of 
the fear of God, and he sent a number of gentlemen to fetch Maelgwn 
the monk to him. When these men came to where they could see 
the monk's house they lost the sight of their eyes. Maelgwn Gwynedd, 
hearing that, meditated the destruction of the Saint ; and he too, 
with all his men, lost their sight, and were compelled to go to the 
Saint and sue for mercy. Maelgwn the monk prayed to Ciric, and 
he and his men received their sight. Then Maelgwn Gwynedd gave 
large and ample lands to Maelgwn the monk and to Ciric for ever, 
free from rent or gwestfa (food-rent) to king or bishop for ever." 

Then follows an account of the boundaries of the grant. Two 
other grants, with their boundaries defined, are also given. One is 
by " Mael, Duke of Melienydd," who gave it "at that time to the 
said Saint for alms " ; the other, " at the same time to S. Ciric," by 
Prince Ceredig of Ceredigion. The boundaries are interesting, as 
indicating that what is now Llangurig parish, or much of it, was 
regarded as having originally belonged to three different principali- 

Several of the late mediaeval bards refer to the Curig legend. 1 Huw 
Cae Llwyd (fifteenth century) says that Maelgwn, coming to the 
hermitage on the bank of the Wye, " sought to practise a deception 
on the nun " that occupied it. His hands and those of his men, one 
after the other, " cleaved to the hamper," and were liberated through 
the intercession of the child martyr and his mother, " the Blessed 
Elidan." 2 Maelgwn, for his attempted spoliation, " gave as an offer- 
ing pasture land of great price to the sacred enclosure." 

Sion Ceri (sixteenth century) alludes to the Saint's martyrdom, 
but his account is quite confused. Though martyred when three 
years old, he is spoken of as "a youth, gentle, eloquent and 
learned, who is our father, our support." 

Huw Arwystli (sixteenth century) also alludes to the nun on the 
bank of the Wye, and mentions the grants to Llangurig of " three 
lands like a golden strand, three in one ring." 

A devotion known as Emyn Curig Sant, " the Hymn of S. Curig," has 

1 There is a paper on " The Legend of S. Curig," by Howel W. Lloyd, in Arch. 
Camb., 1875, pp. 145-64, and History of Powys Fadog, 1882, ii, pp. 271-95. The 
writer supposed Curig to have been a Gaul, who crossed into Wales about the 
seventh century, where he disseminated the Acts of Cyriacus and Julitta, and 
in time got himself confused with the infant martyr. But this is mere guess- 

z He connects " Elidan Lwyd " with Denbighshire, in which county is Llan- 

S. Curig 195 

been preserved. It comprises a lectio and five collects in prose, ad- 
dressed to the Lord Jesus Christ, " in the name of the holy Curig 
the martyr and his mother Julitta, and all the male and female Saints 
of Heaven." The Saint is therein represented as an infant, but 
also as an adult, " conspicuously discreet from his childhood . . . 
very wise, and a teacher of heavenly things. . . . He rejected a lordly 
life, from a pure heart and the wisdom of a perfect man." 1 

The Emyn was known in Wales at least as early as the beginning 
of the fourteenth century. 2 

The Carmarthenshire bard, Lewis Glyn Cothi, who lived in the 
fifteenth century, has several allusions to S. Curig. In one passage 
he refers to " the brave knight Curig's coat of mail," which proves 
that in Wales the Saint was traditionally believed to have been at 
one time a soldier. He also swears, " By Curig's hand ! " and he is 
very satirical on the mendicant friars, who in his day went about 
hawking images of Saints made of glass and alder wood, which they 
sold to the peasantry, and received cheese, flour, wool, etc., as payment. 
One, he says, carried "-Curig Lwyd under the corner of his cloak." 3 

Giraldus Cambrensis tells us 4 that in his time there was preserved 
in S. Harmon's Church, Radnorshire, a few miles south-east of Llan- 
gurig, " the staff of S. Curig, covered on all sides with gold and 
silver, and representing in its upper part the form of a cross." It 
possessed miraculous powers, and was particularly efficacious in cases 
of " glandular and strumous swellings," and that a penny was paid 
as a fee for the application of the staff to the part affected. 

The staff continued in great repute until the Reformation, when 
it is supposed to have been committed to the flames and destroyed. 5 

From these allusions it will be seen that the utmost bewilderment 
of mind was produced by the re-dedication of the church to the child 
martyr Cyriacus, and that the Welsh were unable to fuse the two 
legends into a consistent whole. By eliminating all that pertains to 
Cyriacus the Martyr and his mother Julitta, we obtain what was the 
current tradition relative to Curig. 

1. That he was of unrecorded genealogy. 

2. That he had been a warrior, but was converted and became a 


1 Cambro- British Saints, pp. 276-7. There are copies in Llanstephan MSS. 3 
(fifteenth century) and 117 (sixteenth century). 

2 See Myv. Arch., pp. 315, 330. 

3 Poetical Works, Oxford, 1837, pp. 99, 280, 340, 454. 

4 Itin. Camb., i, c. i. The preservation of his crozier at S. Harmon's has led 
to the supposition that he was Bishop of Llanbadarn. 

5 Williams, History of Radnorshire, 1859, p. 548. 

196 Lives of the British Saints 

3. That he lived in the time of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and had a cell 

and church at Llangurig. 

4. That near him lived a holy nun named Elidan. 

5. That he was esteemed to have become a bishop. 

The stained glass windows of Llangurig, put in at its restoration 
in 1878, represent the current Welsh traditions relative to the Saint, 
confused with the Legend of S. Cyriacus. The child martyr suffered 
in the fourth century, and Curig was contemporary with Maelgwn 
Gwynedd in the sixth. These windows stereotype the anachronism 
and inconsistency of the stories. The East window has in the head 
of the tracery " figures representing King Maelgwn Gwynedd handing 
to the nun Julia a box containing the deeds of land which he devoted 
to the church." By Julia we may suppose Julitta is meant, who 
was not a nun but the mother of Cyriacus, and suffered martyrdom 
along with him. The nun, according to Huw Cae Llwyd, was called 
Elidan. On the left in the window is depicted the martyrdom of 
the boy, and beneath it that of Julitta. The central figure in the 
window is none other than S. Curig habited as a bishop with pastoral 
staff. To the right is a representation of his landing as Aberystwyth, 
and below another of his building the Church at Llangurig. 

In one of the side windows is S. Elidan, as a man, holding a spear 
in one hand and the model of a church in the other. 

In again another window is King Maelgwn, overcome by religious 
fervour, offering a deed of lands to an image of the infant Curig, his 
white horse running away in the background. 1 

Is it possible to conceive of a greater muddle of ideas ? 
There can, we think, be very little doubt that the Curig Lwyd of the 
Welsh is the Kirik of the Bretons. He was a fellow pupil with S. Tudwal 
of S. Illtyd at Llantwit. According to the Brittany legend of his life, 
given by Albert le Grand, the Legendarium of Leon, and that of Folgoet, 
when Tudwal migrated to Armorica, he took Kirik with him. Kirik, 
like Curig, was a son of inconsiderable or unknown parents. He, 
like so many other Celtic Saints, had two names, Kirik and Guevroc. 
We may perhaps trace his course from Wales in two foundations, one 
in Devon, the other in Cornwall. That in Devon is doubtful, Coryton 
or Curig-town, on the Lyd, a confluent of the Tamar. On the 
further side of the Tamar he is patron of Egloskerry. 

He arrived in Brittany in the reign of Childebert I, when Deroc 
was king of Domnonia (520-535). 
After having been for a while with Tudwal, Curig and fourteen 

1 Col. Lloyd-Verney, Description of the Parish Church of Llangurig, London, 1892; 
Archdeacon Thomas, " Llangurig Church," in Arch. Camb., 1903, pp. 239-50. 

S. Curig 197 

others swarmed off to Lanmeur, in the present department of Finistere, 
and founded a monastery at about a league from the present town 
at Locquirec, on the coast. Hence he has of late years been displaced 
as patron, and the church placed under the invocation of S. James 
the Great. 

Desirous of more solitude, he abandoned the monastery and re- 
treated to Ploudaniel in Leon, where he found a valley, called thence- 
forth Traoun-Guevroc, surrounded by dense woods. Here he built 
himself a chapel of interlaced branches, and spent here two years. 
S. Paul Aurelian hearing of him, paid him a visit, and the story goes 
that when the hermit came forward to meet him, the Bishop saw a 
radiance of supernatural light surround his head. Paul insisted on 
his not hiding his light under a bushel, and bade him accompany him 
to his monastery at Occismor. He remained there working under S. 
Paul for many years. 

At some time, unspecified in the Life, but probably before he aban- 
doned S. Tudwal, he must have made a foundation at Perros Guirec, 
a bare and rocky stretch of land north of Lannion. Here the soil 
is scantily drawn over a granite floor, and huge uncouth masses of 
rock, rounded by the sea winds and rain, strew the surface. The 
headland is still called Ploumanach, or the Plebs of the Monk. Five 
miles out to sea rise boldly out of the water the Seven Isles, one of 
which, 1'Ile des Moines, was probably much resorted to by Curig and 
his party for solitude. 

Curig himself, according to local tradition, loved to pray on a rock 
in the little bay, which is surrounded by the high tide. In memory 
whereof a small oratory of romanesque workmanship was constructed 
on the rock. It consists of a mere roof covering a statue of the Saint, 
supported on granite pillars. 

It is somewhat singular that his settlement at Perros is not spoken 
of in the Life ; and no hint is given us as to his reason for migrating 
from Treguier and western Domnonia into Leon. It is possible that 
it may have been due to a difference with Tudwal. Between Perros 
Guirec and the mainland is a plantation of S. Kenan or Kea, and this 
may have annoyed Curig, and induced him to quit the neighbour- 

It would seem, though it is not stated in his Life, that Curig was 
consecrated bishop by S. Paul, for he is invariably represented as 
a bishop. 

Curig was engaged on one of his missionary expeditions when he 
fell sick at Landerneau, and died there. His body was transported 
by his monks to Locquirec and there buried. 

198 Lives of the British Saints 

He would seem to have exercised a roving missionary life, and 
at one time to have penetrated into what is now the department of 
Morbihan, for he is culted at Cleguier and at Cleguerec. 

The story is told of him that one Sunday he saw a man cutting 
rushes wherewith to stop a gap in the fence of his wheat-field. Curig 
rebuked him, and told him that it would be better to get someone to 
watch lest cattle got into the field, than to do manual labour on the 
Lord's Day. The farmer turned on him and abused him soundly, 
whereupon, so says the legend, the bundle of rushes he had in his 
arms adhered to him, and could not be shaken off till he had made 
an ample apology. 

According to popular tradition, the Chapel of Ntre Dame de 
Kreisker in S. Pol de Leon was founded by Curig. He saw a girl 
washing clothes on a Holy Day, and rebuked her. As, shortly after, 
she was struck with palsy, she fancied that this was due to her having 
offended the Saint. So she surrendered to him a bit of land in ex- 
piation, and thereon he built a church in honour of the Blessed Virgin. 
This latter point is questionable, as dedications to Our Lady came 
in vogue among the Celts much later than the period at which lived 

Curig died on February 17, but in what year is not known. 
It was probably during the lifetime of S. Paul Aurelian. There is 
no mention in his Life of the troubles caused by Conmore, regent 
of Domnonia, and we may set down his death as occurring shortly 
before 550. 

The Breton Life gives no account of any events in the life of the 
Saint whilst he was in Wales. It is possible enough that the annoy- 
ances felt by him from the turbulence of Maelgwn Gwynedd may 
have determined him to quit Wales, coupled with the urgency of his 
fellow pupil Tudwal. 

The following are the Curig dedications in Wales : Llangurig, in 
Montgomeryshire ; Eglwys Fair a Churig, in Carmarthenshire. Capel 
Curig (called in full, Capel Curig a'i fam Julitta), in Carnarvonshire, 
is dedicated to SS. Cyriacus and Julitta ; and Llanilid (called also 
Eglwys Hid a Churig), in Glamorganshire, to SS. Julitta and Cyriacus. 
Llanilid (also called Cray S. Hid), in Brecknockshire, is dedicated to 
S. Julitta, as well as Llanelidan, in > Denbighshire. In this latter we 
have the Elidan = Julitta of Huw Cae Llwyd and the mediaeval Welsh 
Calendars. The church of Porthkerry, in Glamorganshire, is usually 
regarded as dedicated to S. Curig. It is stated in the lolo MSS. 1 : 

1 P. 220. This, no doubt, is the origin of Curig being sometimes mentioned 
as the patron of Welsh mariners. 

S. Curig 199 

" S. Cirig founded Forth Cirig for the benefit of the souls of sailors, 
and as a port for them " ; but in another passage in the same work x 
the place is associated with Ceri ab Caid, who is said to have lived 
there and to have been called Ceri Hir Lyngwyn, " because he had 
numerous fleets at sea." In the Taxatio of 1254 it appears as Portiri 
(for Portciri), and in that of 1291 as Porthkirey, forms which do not 
favour the Curig dedication. 

In the parish of Llanilid (Glamorganshire), is a well called Ffynnon 
Geri, and the parish wake, Gwyl Geri, was formerly held about Mid- 
summer. S. Curig's Chapel once stood at Langstone, near Llanmartin, 
Monmouthshire, and there was formerly a pilgrimage chapel, called 
Capel Curig, in the parish of Newport, Pembrokeshire. 2 It is very 
probable that the parish church itself (now S. Mary's) was once dedi- 
cated to him. The great annual fair there is called Ffair Gurig. 
Ffos y Mynach (or Myneich), near S. David's, was at one time also 
called, according to Fenton, 3 Ffos Gyrig (his dyke). In the parish 
of Llangian, Carnarvonshire, was formerly a well called Ffynnon 
Fyw (the Living Well),' now dried up, celebrated for the cure of 
rheumatism. It was supposed to be dedicated to S. Cyr, the martyr, 
whose chapel stood close by. 

Owing to the popularity of SS. Cyriacus and Julitta among the 
Normans it is not possible to assert that all the churches dedicated to 
SS. Cyriacus and Julitta, or to them severally, have supplanted founda- 
tions of Curig. Some may have been entirely new and be Norman 
foundations, but in purely Welsh districts the Curig churches are un- 
doubtedly to be attributed to S. Curig and not to Cyriacus, and the 
Hid churches certainly in Brecknockshire, Glamorganshire, and 
north-east Cornwall to Hud, the daughter of Brychan, and not to 
Julitta of Tarsus. We cannot be assured that the Kirik or Guevroc 
of Brittany is identical with the Curig of Wales, but it is most prob- 
able that they are the same, as the Breton Life makes Kirik come to 
Armorica from Wales. 

Possibly, as already said, \ve may trace the course pursued by 
Curig on his way to Brittany, by foundations in Devon and Cornwall. 
There is a Newton S. Cyres near Exeter, now regarded as dedicated 
to S. Cyriacus. Cory ton on the Lyd is apparently Curigtown. 
The church is now esteemed to be under the patronage of S. Andrew. 
Near it is a Holy Well. At Eglos Kerry, near Launceston, he has 

1 P. 7. Browne Willis, Llandaff, 1719, append, p. 2, gives the church as 
dedicated to S. Curig, with festival June 16. 

2 George Owen, Description of Pembrokeshire, i, p. 509. In the Valor of 1535, 
iv> P- 374. the oblations in " Capella Sancti Ciriaci " at Langstone are entered 
as 2os. 3 Pembrokeshire, i8n,p. 131. 

2OO Lives of the British Saints 

not been displaced. Calstock Church is dedicated to SS. Cyriacus 
and Julitta, and Luxulyan, which seems to be a corruption of 
Lan Sulian, is now held to be under the invocation of SS. Cyriacus 
and Julitta, but was possibly a foundation of S. Sulian or Sulien. 

In Brittany he is patron of Perros Guirec in Cotes du Nord ; of 
Launeufret (that bears the name of Meubred ?) in Finistere, formerly 
also of Locquirec in the same department, where Curig had his mon- 
astery and was buried ; and of Cleguerec in Morbihan. He has 
supplanted S. Geraint at S. Geran near Pontivy. He has chapels 
at Goulven, in Leon, and Ploubezre near Lannion in Cotes du Nord, 
and at Ploumanach in Perros Guirec. Chapels as well at Plounerin 
and Tredrez, in Cotes du Nord. He is invoked for the cure of 
abscesses and strumous swellings, just as formerly Curig in Wales was 
thought to be efficacious in these diseases. At Ploumanach is his 
statue in stone, of the thirteenth century, representing him in sacer- 
dotal vestments with a crozier in one hand, an open book in the other. ' 
At Perros Guirec he is mitred and holds a crozier with one hand, and 
is giving benediction with the other. 

On account of his having in Wales been fused with S. Cyriacus, 
his day is June 16, that attributed in the Roman Martyrology to 
SS. Cyriacus and Julitta ; but his day in Brittany is February 17, 
the day on which he died. Breviary of Leon, 1736, Breviary of 
Quimper, 1835, and Albert le Grand. 

Although the statues of the Saint in Brittany give him without 
a distinguishing symbol, it would be suitable to represent him as a 
bishop carrying a bundle of bulrushes. 

S. CWYAN, Martyr 

AMONG the lolo MSS. 1 genealogies occurs the following : "S. Cwyan, 
whose cor or ' choir ' was Llangwyan, in Glamorgan, where he was 
slain by pagan Saxons." The place meant is Llanguian, in the parish 
of Llanblethian, but there do not appear to be any ecclesiastical 
remains there now. The parish of Llanblethian, comprising the manors 
of Llanblethian and Llanguian, were confirmed by charter in 1180 to 
Tewkesbury Abbey, the chapel of the latter manor being mentioned as 
the chapel of S. James of " Landcoman " later Llancovian and Llan- 
guian. The ruins of its castle are still plainly marked just to the east 
of Stalling Down. 2 See the next article. 

1 P. 109. 

2 Green, Churches of Llandaff, Aberdare, 1907, pp. 35, 61. Read " Landcouian" 
for " Landcoman." 



S. Cwyfen 


S. CWYFEN, Confessor 

CWYFEN, or Cwyfan, was the son of Brwyneu Hen and was descended 
from Caradog Freichfras. 1 His mother was Camell or Cainell, of 
Bod Angharad, a township of the parish of Llanfwrog, in the commote 
of Coleion, Denbighshire. He is the patron of three churches Llan- 
gwyfan, in Anglesey (subject to Trefdraeth), Llangwyfan, 2 in Den- 
bighshire, and Tydweiliog, in Carnarvonshire. The Anglesey old 
Eglwys Gwyfan, as it is generally called locally, is situated on a small 


rocky island, formerly a promontory, called Ynys Gwyfan, in Car- 
narvon Bay, and is connected with the mainland by a causeway of 
about 200 yards, which is often covered by the tide. The islet, which 
now measures about a quarter of an acre, is being gradually worn 
away by the sea. When the church was inaccessible, especially in 
winter, the services were held in a room at Plas Cwyfan, but it was 

1 Hafod MS. 1 6 (but text corrupt) ; Cardiff MS. 25, p. 36 ; Myv. Arch., 
p. 420 ; lolo MSS., p. 123. 

2 In the terrier of this church, dated 1793, a part of the glebe is called " Erw 
Telpin Gwyfan." 

2O2 Lives of the British Saints 

replaced in 1871 by a more convenient church. There are here Afon 
Gwyfan and Forth Gwyfan. 

Dyserth Church, in Flintshire, is sometimes said to be dedicated 
to S. Cwyfan. 1 Edward Lhuyd, in his so-called Itinerary, 1699, wrote 
under the parish " Their Saint Gwyvan ; and Wakes y e next Sunday 
aftery e 2 d of June. Fynnon Gwyva ai vrythyllied wrth yr Eglwys " 
(Cwy fan's Well and his Trout are near the Church). His Holy Well 
bubbled forth in a beautiful crystal spring among the rocks within a 
stone's throw eastwardly of the church, but the lead-mining operations 
at Talargoch have, since the beginning of last century, entirely 
drained away its waters. The church, however, is generally regarded, 
certainly to-day, as being dedicated to S. Brigid, in Welsh, S. Ffraid. 2 

The festival of S. Cwyfen, which occurs in a great number of 
the Welsh Calendars, is given on June 3. So also by Browne 
Willis. In the Calendar in the Prymer of 1633, and in a number of 
eighteenth century Welsh Almanacs, it is, however, on the 2nd ; and 
in the Calendar in Jesus College MS. 7 on the 4th ; but he must have 
been entered against these days by mistake. In the Calendars in 
the lolo MSS. and the Prymer of 1546 his name is given as Cofen, 
which seems to identify for us the patron of Llangoven, Monmouth- 
shire, who is otherwise unknown. This church-name appears also as 
Lancomen, 5 Lanchouian, 4 and Llangofien. 5 The name is not to be con- 
founded with that of the patron of S.Govan's Chapel, Pembrokeshire. 

One MS. quoted in the Myvyrian Archaiology 6 gives a S. Cwyfyn 
ab Arthalun, of Glyn Achlach. By the last name is no doubt meant 
Glendalough, and the Saint is thus identified with S. Coemgen or 
Kevin, its abbot, whose festival is also June 3. Coemgen's father's 
name, however, was Coemlog, of the race of Laeghaire Lore, monarch 
of Ireland ; but his mother was Coenhella, or Caemell, daughter of 
Ceannfhionnan, son of Ceisi, of the same race. She must be the Camell 
or Cainell of the Welsh pedigrees. 

S. CYBI, Abbot, Confessor 

THERE are extant two Lives of S. Cybi or Cubi, both in Latin, and 
both in the same MS. Collection (Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv, of the 

1 See Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 914. 

2 E.g., in Browne Willis, Bangor, p. 357. The remarkable stone, the Maen-y- 
chwyfan, not far distant, most probably does not commemorate S. Cwyfen, as is 
often supposed. 3 Norwich Taxatio, 1254. * Book of Llan Ddv, p. 284. 

5 Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 919. 6 P. 423. 

S. Cybi 203 

early thirteenth century), in the British Museum. Both are apparently 
independent translations from one Welsh original. 

The first has been printed by Rees in his Lives of the Cambro-British 
Saints (Llandovery, 1853, pp. 183-7), but very inaccurately. The 
errors have been indicated by Dr. Kuno Meyer, in Y Cymmrodor, xiii 
(1900), pp. 87-8. From this John of Tynemouth abridged his Life, 
which is printed in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice. John of Tyne- 
mouth's original MS. is in Cotton MS. Tiberius E. i. 

That the two Lives of S. Cybi are taken from a common Welsh 
original hardly admits of a doubt, for both narrate the same circum- 
stances, in the same order, and differ only in the rendering into Latin. 

Solomon or Selyf, the father of S. Cybi, was princeps militia, or 
chief military officer commanding the British. He was also a Cornish 
king. The title would be equivalent to Dux bellorum given to Arthur 
by Nennius, 1 a title that seems to have replaced that of Comes litoris 
Saxonici given to a functionary during the last century of the Roman 
dominion in Britain. 2 

The Lives give his pedigree differently from the Welsh genealogies. 
Solomon or Selyf, according to the latter, was " ab Geraint ab Erbin 
ab Cystennin Gorneu 3 " ; whereas the Lives make him a son of Erbin, 
son of Geraint, whom they represent as son of the fabulous Lud, the 
builder of London. 

Chrestien de Troyes, in his Erec, the original of the Welsh tale of 
Geraint, makes Erec (Geraint) son of Lac (Lud or Lludd). 

The mother of Cybi was Gwen, 4 sister of Non, the mother of S. 
David. He was, accordingly, first cousin to that great Saint. 

" Ortus autem fuit de regione Cornubiorum, inter duo flumina, 
Tamar et Limar " (Vita i" 1 "). This is the principality of Gallewick, 
the Calwe/one of Domesday, the extensive manor of Calliland or Kelli- 
land. The Limar is now the Lynher. 

At the age of seven Cybi went to school, and lived thenceforth, 
till he was twenty -seven years old, in Cornwall. Then he went on 
pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and after that visited S. Hilary of Poitiers, 
and remained with him fifty years, i.e. till he was aged seventy-seven, 

1 Hist. Britonum, c. 56. 2 Zimmer, Nennius Vindicatus, Berlin, 1893, p. 285. 

3 Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 (both thirteenth century), 12 (fourteenth century); 
Cambro-British Saints, 267, etc. The lolo MSS. have a few particulars about 
Cybi not found in the Lives, but they are late, and must be taken for what they 
are worth. He is there said to have been a saint of Bangor Dunawd (on the 
Dee) and also of Cor Garmon (Llancarfan or Llantwit), and Bardsey (pp. 104, 
117). On p. 139 he is designated " Archbishop of Gwynedd." 

4 She is sometimes by mistake called Tonwen (Myv. Arch., p. 421 ; lolo MSS., 
P- 139). 

2 04. Lives of the British Saints 

and S. Hilary ordained him bishop. This is, of course, an anachronism, 
as S. Hilary died in 368. Nor does it help us if we suppose that a 
mistake has been made between Hilary of Aries and his namesake of 
Poitiers, for the former died in 449. It is not possible to put Cybi 
so early, when his grandfather Geraint fell at Llongborth. The date 
of that battle is not at all certain. Mr. Rees sets it as occurring in 522, 
but we cannot be sure of that date. It is possible enough that Elian 
Geimiad, Cybi's kinsman, has been confused with S. Hilary here, as 
elsewhere. 1 It is not possible for us to accept the statement that the 
Saint was as many as fifty years on the Continent. 

Whilst abroad, Cybi made the acquaintance of Endeus, afterwards 
of Aran, and in the Life of the latter occurs a story of a dispute be- 
tween Endeus, Cybi, and Ailbe of Emly, a holy contest as to which 
of the three was the most humble, which was referred to the Pope 
Hilary for decision, and was settled miraculously by the apparition 
of snow-white doves which gave the palm to Endeus. 2 Hilary was 
Pope 461-8. But this Hilary is again too early. 

Moreover, in the same Life, Cybi is said to have been at Rome when 
there was a vacancy in the papacy ; and as, when the election of a 
successor to the see was in progress, a dove descended and rested on 
Cybi, he was chosen by acclaim, but refused the honour, and in his 
place Hilary was elected. 

It is true that in the Life of Enda the name is given as Pupeus, 
but P and C are often permuted, as Ciaran becomes Piran, and 
Conoc becomes Pinock. There was, however, a Saint Papan of Santry 
in Dublin, and this may be the man meant, but it is more probable 
that Pupeus stands for Cybi, as at a later period this latter visited 
and was on intimate terms with Enda. 

On his return to Cornwall, Cybi probably made his two important 
foundations of Duloe and Tregony. Duloe is remarkable as having 
adjoining it Morval, a foundation of his mother S. Gwen, and Pelynt, 
one of his aunt S. Non. If, as we may suspect, Lansalos (Lan Selyf) 
was a foundation of S. Selyf, then his father's church was also near by. 

Tregony was formerly an important place, on a tidal estuary, and 
a port, but the river has now been silted up. Adjoining it is Gram- 
pound, where again his aunt Non has a church, and as a remarkable 

1 In his Essay, Rees has pointed out that Elian is repeatedly confused with 
Hilary. The epithet Ceimiad (the Pilgrim) has been read Cannaid (bright), 
and made to correspond with the Latin Hilarius. When the translation was 
made from the Welsh original of the Life of Cybi, the translators, when they came 
on the name, rendered it Hilarius, and jumped to the conclusion that the Saint 
of Poitiers was meant. Essay on the Welsh Saints, p. 267. 

2 Ada SS. Boll., Mart. Ill (March 21), pp. 267-74. 


From Painting on Rood-loft, Lew Trenchard, Devon. 

S. Cybi 205 

coincidence, an inscribed stone, built into the tower at S. Cuby's 
Church, bears the name of Nonita. Of this more presently. 

How long Cybi remained in Cornwall we do not know. The Life 
informs us that the natives desired to elevate him to the throne, but 
that he refused the honour. 1 

We know so little of the history of Cornwall at this period, that we 
can do little more than offer a conjecture that his father Solomon was 
dead, and had been succeeded first by Cataw or Cado, and then by 
the turbulent Constantine, whom Gildas assailed in his tract, A.D. 540. 
There may have been discontent among the Cornish, and a conspiracy 
to displace Constantine, and make Cybi the head of the revolt. 

Immediately after this abortive attempt to raise Cybi to the throne, 
the Saint left his native land for Wales. It is easy to read between 
the lines of the narrative, and see that this was due to the failure 
of the rising. He would be obliged to fly for his life. 

Cybi took with him ten disciples, of whom four are named, Maelog, 
Llibio, Peulan, and Cyngar. 2 

Cyngar was, in fact, his uncle, the founder of Congresbury, which 
he had abandoned, probably on account of invasions of pirates in 
the Bristol Channel. He was now an aged man. " Consobrinus 
ejus Kengar erat senex." 3 

On leaving Cornwall, Cybi went to Morganwg, in which, previously, 
Cyngar had founded the monastery of Llandough, by Cardiff. 
But Cybi was not well received by King Etelic or Edelig. With 
this agrees to some extent what is said in the Life of S. Cyngar 
(which see), where it is stated that Cyngar, after leaving Congresbury 
went into Morganwg, but was badly treated by the Kings Paul Penychen 
and Peibio. Edelig was the regulus of the district, son of Glywys 
and brother of Gwynllyw Filwr. The region over which he ruled 
was called after him Edeligion, in south-west Monmouthshire between 
the Usk and the Rumney, and was in ancient Morganwg. 4 

Finally Edelig surrendered to Cybi two sites for churches, Llangibby 
and Landauer Guir. The latter is probably Tredunnoc (S. Andrew),, 
and both are on the Usk, in Edeligion. 

Cybi does not seem to have remained long in Morganwg. He went 
to S. David's, where he tarried three days, and thence crossed into- 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 183. " Qua tempestate postulatus admodum ulr 
et super gentem Cornubiorum regnaret." Vita 2 da , f. 94. 

2 " Maelauc, Libiau, Peulan, Kengair," Vita i ma ; " Meliauc, Libiau, Paulin,. 
Kengar," Vita 2*. 3 Cambro-British Saints, p. 184. 

4 Vita S. Cadoci in ibid., p. 22. Edeligion was afterwards known as a com- 
mote in the cantred of Gwynllywg (Red Book Bruts, Oxford, p. 412 ; cf. Book 
of Llan Ddv, pp. 247, 273). On Dr. Owen Pughe's map it is marked as Dylogion.. 

206 Lives of the British Saints 

Ireland, and made no delay till he reached the island of Aruin or 
Aran Mor, where he met his former acquaintance, Enda. 

Enda had obtained a grant of the island from Aengus MacNad- 
fraich, King of Munster, whose first wife had been Dairini, daughter of 
Conall derg, and sister of Enda. But she was now dead, and Aengus 
had married Eithne Uathac. Probably at her instigation Aengus 
had refused the island to Enda, and the latter had recourse to Ailbe, 
who used his influence with the king, and got him at last to surrender 
the island to Enda. Aengus died in 489, and Aran can hardly have 
been occupied by Enda before 486. He is supposed to have died 
in 540. 

Cybi still had with him his disciples ; and the account in the Life 
is to some extent confirmed by what we hear of S. Enda, that he had 
a disciple Llibio, who is the Libiau of the Vita. 1 

In Aran S. Cybi remained four years. There he built a church. 
His uncle Cyngar was with him, but was so decrepit with age that he 
could not eat solid food. Consequently Cybi bought a cow with its 
calf, to supply milk for the use of the old man. 

Maelog, the disciple of Cybi, cultivated a patch of land near the cell 
of another monk, named Fintan the Priest (Crubthirrz:Cruimther). 2 
This led to angry altercation, as Fintan considered this to be an en- 
croachment. S. Enda was called in to adjudicate between them ; 
but the grievance rankled in Fintan 's mind. The calf, moreover, 
strayed, and got into the meadow of the priest, who thereupon im- 
pounded it, and tied it to a shrub. 3 The calf managed to tear up 
the shrub and ran back to its mother. Moreover, Maelog dug ground 
close to the door of Fintan's cell. 4 

Fintan was furious, and betook himself to prayer. He called on 
God to drive or blot Cybi out of the island : " Deprecatus est Dominum 
ut fugaret vel deleret Sanctum Kebium de insula Aruin, quia Deus 
.amavit eum." 

An angel was sent to Cybi to advise him to go. Doubtless the 
angel was a peace-loving monk who saw that the quarrel would grow 
more rancorous so long as these two angry Saints were near each other 

1 The Irish authorities make Llibio a brother of S. Enda. A eta SS. Hib., 
p. 712. 

2 This is the Goidelic form of presbyter, through the popular Latin prebiter. 
It occurs in mediaeval Welsh as prifder. Sir J. Rhys, Welsh Philology, pp. 
349-5 o. 

3 A ccording to the Vita, it was a big tree. But there are none such in Aran. 

4 " Maelauc ad ostium cubiculi Crubthir Fintan fodere terram exiret." 
Camb ro-British Saints, p. 184. 

S. Cybi 207 

in a confined island. Before leaving Cybi called on God to curse 
Crubthir Fintan : " May God destroy him out of this island ! " 

The Life of S. Endeus confirms the account of these squabbles, 1 
but puts the cause down to the division of the island made by Enda 
between himself and another. Enda had parcelled out the island 
into ten parts ; he kept two of these shares for himself, and gave 
one apiece to eight disciples. They were wroth, and declared that 
he had no right to retain the lion's share ; and they actually began 
to fast against their master, when an angel came to pacify the factious 
by giving Enda a Book of the Gospels and a chasuble, for which he 
surrendered his second share. 

Cybi now quitted Aran for Meath, and there he fasted for forty 
days and nights in one spot, so as to secure it as a foundation for 
himself for ever. 2 

The place selected, Mochop, is Kilmore of S. Mochop, near Artaine. 
But the angry Fintan pursued him thither, and on the pretext that 
the land belonged to him, drove Cybi away. 

The Cornishman, along with his disciples, now went to Magh-Bregh, 
the great plain in which is Kildare, undulating and grassy, and sweet 
with white clover. Here he thought to settle. But he was allowed 
to remain there only seven days, as the implacable Fintan pursued 
him, stirred up popular feeling against him as a stranger, and expelled 
Cybi and his men. Again the Saint had to move his feeble old uncle, 
and he betook himself to Vobvun (Uobiun, Vita 2 da ), and there re- 
mained a fortnight. The place has not been identified. 

Fintan once more pursued him, and succeeded in again obtaining 
his expulsion. Cybi now bade his disciples go into the wood and cut 
down timber for the making of a boat. Fintan even prevented him 
from getting tanned hides for covering it. 3 This was a peculiarly 
gross insult, for it was a mode of punishing great criminals to commit 
them to the sea in a coracle, whose wicker framework was covered 
with hide only one fold deep. 4 

Cybi's patience was exhausted, and before leaving he again cursed 
Fintan : " May all thy churches be deserted, and may never be 
found three churches singing at thy altar in all Ireland ! " 5 

1 Acta SS. Boll., Mart. Ill, p. 272. 

2 " Ibi quadraginta diebus, et quadraginta noctibus permansit ; et edificavit 
ibi ecclesiam, que usque hodie ecclesia magna (kill-mor) vocatur Mochop." 
Cambro-British Saints, p. 185. 

3 " Intrate in lembo sine corio. Salumque traicite." Vita 2*, f. 95. 

4 Tripartite Life, ed. Stokes, i, p. clxxiv. 

5 In Vita 2** a little different " Omnes ecclesie tue in tan turn sint deserte, 
Tit nunquam tres inueniantur in Hibernie insula." 

2o8 Lives of the British Saints 

Probably Cybi's boat was made of planks and ribs, but in the Life 
his passing the sea in a vessel without the usual covering of hides is 
represented as miraculous. Cybi could not return to Cornwall, where 
probably Constantine was king. He was therefore obliged to make 
for Wales. The Life says that he made for Monnia insula (Monia 
insula in Vita 2 da ), where the boat ran on the rocks. But we may 
rather believe that it was Lleyn, as he had an important settlement 
there before going to Anglesey ; and as the district is spoken of shortly 
after as a promontory to which Maelgwn came when hunting. 

Cybi founded a church at a spot called Cyndaf, 1 probably now 
Llangybi, near Pwllheli, in Lleyn, where, with his staff, he elicited 
a spring that bears his name to this day. 

One day he ordered his disciple Caffo to fetch him some fire. Then 
comes the hack story of the pupil going to a smith, " whose name 
was Magurn," who refused to give it unless Caffo would carry it in 
his garment. This Caffo did, and not a strand of his gabardine (coccula) 
was singed. 

Maelgwn, King of Gwynedd, was hunting, when a goat he pursued 
fled for refuge to the Saint. The king demanded the surrender of 
the beast, but Cybi entreated that he might be given as much land 
as the hound could run the goat round. " And S. Cybi let loose the 
goat, and the hound pursued it through all the promontory, and it 
returned again to S. Cybi's casula," under which it had previously 
found refuge. 

Later, a controversy broke out between Maelgwn and Cybi, 
the particulars of which are not given, but we may suspect that the 
king took umbrage at Cybi having with him Caffo, the brother of 
Gildas, who had grossly insulted him in his book, probably just issued. 
At this point both the MS. Lives are fragmentary. The first says 
that Cybi said to Caffo, " Depart from me, for we cannot live together," 
and then follows the account of Caffo leaving for Rosuir (Newborough), 
where he was murdered by the shepherds ; whereupon Cybi cursed 
the shepherds of Rosuir with their mistress. But this occurs out of 
its place, in the midst of the story of Maelgwn and the goat, and the 
second Life omits it altogether. 

We may shrewdly suspect that, as a result of the murder of Caffo, 
Cybi claimed blood-money, and to satisfy him, Maelgwn surrendered 
to him a fortress he had at the extremity of Anglesey, which thence- 
forth bore the name of Caer Gybi, in English Holyhead ; and thither 
the Saint removed with his monastic family. 

The place in late mediaeval documents is sometimes called Bangor 
1 " Cundab," Vita i ma ; " Cunab," Vita 2**. 

S. Cybi 209 

Gybi, and Maelgwn Gwynedd is regarded as its founder and endower. 
The caer still exists. It occupies a rock above the sea, but now the 
strand below has been encroached on by an extension of the original 
churchyard, and a road and buildings stretch between the cliff and the 
water. The caer is quadrangular, and measures 220 feet by 130 feet. 
The walls are still practically complete, but that face of the caer which 
is next the sea had apparently not been walled. The walls are extremely 
rude, built of boulders from the shore, in places arranged in herring- 
bone fashion. They are still 17 feet high and are 6 feet thick. At 
each angle stood a round tower. To the south is the chapel of Serigi, 
the Goidelic chief who was killed by Cadwallon Lawhir, when he 
drove the Irish from this their last stronghold in North Wales. It 
is of the fourteenth century. 

The caer walls can hardly be as ancient as Maelgwn's time, for we 
have no reason for supposing that circular towers were introduced 
at the angles of a fortress before the Norman Conquest. It was prob- 
ably erected later to protect the church from piratical attacks, but 
portions of the walling may be more ancient. 

There is a tradition still current in Anglesey, that S. Cybi and S. 
Seiriol used to meet frequently at midday at the wells of Clorach, in 
the parish of Llandyfrydog, about midway between Holyhead and 
Penmon, to hold holy converse together. Cybi, journeying from west 
to east in the morning, and from east to west in the afternoon, had 
the sun always in his face, and so became tanned ; whilst Seiriol, 
who journeyed always with his back to the sun, preserved his fair 
complexion. They are, on this account, popularly called Seiriol Wyn 
(the Fair) and Cybi Felyn (the Tawny). The two wells, Ffynnon 
Gybi and Ffynnon Seiriol, were situated one each side the road leading 
from Llanerchymedd (about a mile and a half to the east of that village), 
and exactly opposite each other. Ffynnon Gybi was filled up about 
1840, when a new bridge was erected, but Ffynnon Seiriol still flows. 
They were formerly much resorted to for the cure of various diseases. 
Matthew Arnold, in his sonnet East and West, has completely misunder- 
stood the legend. Mentioning the two Saints as " Seiriol the Bright," 
and " Cybi the Dark," he observes 

One came from Penmon westward, and a glow 
Whiten'd his face from the sun's fronting ray ; 

Eastward the other, from the dying day, 
And he with unsunn'd face did always go. 1 

1 Prof. J. Morris Jones has also a sonnet on the legend in his Caniadau (Oxford, 
1907, p. 20), of which we give the last two stanzas 
"Mi ni wn ai gwir yr hanes, 

Ond mae'i faich yn wir o hyd ; 


2 i o Lives of the British Saints 

" At length a multitude of angels came and took the most holy 
soul of Cybi to heaven, to be in the company of patriarchs and prophets, 
in the unity of the martyrs and confessors, of the virgins and all 
righteous Saints ; in the unity of the Heavenly Church, where there 
is day without night, tranquillity without fear, and joy without end ; 
where there are seven eternal things : life without death, youth with- 
out old age, joy without sorrow, peace without discord, light without 
darkness, health without sickness, and a kingdom without change." 
S. Cybi died on November 8, certainly after 547, the date of 
Maelgwn's decease in the Yellow Plague. 

It is not possible to admit that the age of the Saint was seventy- 
seven when he returned from the Continent to Cornwall, but that may 
very well have been his age when he returned finally to Britain, after 
the four years spent in Ireland. His uncle was, indeed, still alive 
but may have been nearly ninety. S. Enda, to whom he had gone, 
was almost certainly his senior, but not by many years, and he died 
in or about 540. 

Of the disciples of S. Cybi, we have seen that Libiau or Llibio is 
known on Irish testimony to have been on Aran with S. Enda. He 
came to Wales with S. Cybi and founded Llanllibio in Anglesey. 
Peulan was the son of Paul Hen of Manaw. He founded Llanbeulan 
in Anglesey. Maelog was the brother of Gildas. He founded a 
chapel at Llanfaelog, under the church of his fellow pupil Peulan, 
and several churches in South Wales. He was also a disciple of 
Cadoc. Cyngar founded Llangefni in Anglesey. 

Whether S. Mochop was his disciple is not clear. Cybi founded 
Kilmochop in Magh Bregh, but it takes its name from Mochop. This 
Saint was the son of Ethnea, sister of Mughain, who married Diarmid, 
King of Ireland, who died in 565, and was mother of Aedh Slaine 
(599-605). Another sister was S. Brigid of Clon-infinde on the Shannon, 
the intimate friend of S. Senan of Iniscathy. It is possible that 
Mochop may have attached himself to Cybi, and that when Cybi 
left, he remained behind in charge of the church Cybi had founded. 

It is not possible to determine who was Cybi's great adversary, 
the priest Fintan. Finnian, Finnan or Fintan is a very common 
name among the Irish Saints, and of a great many of them nothing 
is known. From the curse pronounced by Cybi, it is clear that in 

Dengys anghyfartal dynged 
Dynion yn y byd. 

Caiff y naill, aed ffordd yr elo, 

Mewn cysgodion rodio'n rhydd ; 
Rhaid i'r llall o hyd wynebu 

Pwys a gwres y dydd." 

S. Cybi 211 

later years his adversary Fintan obtained no extended cult in Ireland. 
A Cruimther Finnan is indeed marked in the Irish Martyrologies 
on February g, as of Droma Licci, in Leitrim, but this cannot be the 
man, as, according to the Life, Cruimther Fintan was a person of 
influence in Leinster, and not in Connaught. A Crabthir Fintain, 
however, occurs in the Martyrology of Donegal on July 13, of Killairthir, 
the site of which has not been satisfactorily determined. 

It is conceivable that the departure of Cybi from Aran was due 
to the death of S. Enda, in or near 540, and this will well agree with 
the date of his arrival in Wales, about 542. 

If we suppose that he was then aged seventy-two, then he arrived 
in Ireland in 538. 

Taking Cybi to have lived to the age of eighty-four, he would have 
died in 554. 

According to both Lives Cybi died on November 8. The great 
majority of the Welsh Calendars, however, give his festival on Novem- 
ber 5, two give it on the 6th, one (Cotton Vesp. A. xiv) on the yth, 
but none on the 8th. -Llanstephan MS. 117 (sixteenth century) and 
Nicolas Roscarrock give also August 13. This may have been the 
date of the translation at some time of his relics. The oblations 
" in die S'c'i Cubii " are entered in the Valor of 1535 (iv, p. 428) under 

The parish feast at Tregony is observed on October 4 ; that, how- 
ever, at Duloe on November 9. 

S. Cybi is best known as abbot of Caer Gybi. 1 Among the brother- 
hood at " Bangor Gybi " are mentioned in the late lolo MSS., S. 
Mygnach ab Mydno, who was registrar, and afterwards succeeded 
to the abbacy ; S. Tegfan ab Carcludwys, the founder of Llandegfan, 
who was confessor ; and S. Padrig ab Alfryd, the founder of Llan- 
badrig, and S. Gwyddfarch ab Llywelyn, of Welshpool, who were 
members. Holyhead Island, otherwise known as the Holy Island, 
is generally called in Welsh Ynys Gybi. On a stone in the outside 
wall of the north transept of Holyhead Church is to be seen the in- 
scription, " Sancte Kebie ora pro nobis " ; and the print of his foot 
was formerly popularly believed to be visible in the rock at the east 
end of the church. 2 

There are several statues, rudely executed, about the entrance door 

1 Its abbot (represented later by the provost or president of the collegiate 
church) was one of the three spiritual lords of Anglesey, the other two being the 
archdeacon of the Isle, and the abbot of Penmon. The inscription on the 
exergue of the chapter seal is given as " Sigil' Rectoris et Capituli Eccl'ae de 
Kaer Kibi." 

* Angharad Llwyd, Hist, of Anglesey, p. 207. 

212 Lives of the British Saints 

of the south porch of the church, one of which probably represents 
the patron Saint. Above, is the Eternal Father in a niche, which the 
popular tradition identifies with Maelgwn Gwynedd. A new side 
chapel has been erected to contain the tomb of the Hon. W. Owen 
Stanley, and this has niches containing statues of S. Cybi and S. 
Seiriol. The church of the latter, in Holyhead, is modern. 

There is a traditional belief that S. Cybi was buried at Gwytherin, 
Denbighshire, 1 but there can be no doubt that he was laid to his 
rest at Caer Gybi, for his shrine there was rifled by Irish pirates in 
the fifteenth century. 

There is preserved a poem entitled " The Saints' discourse with 
Cybi as they were going to Bardsey," but it is late mediaeval. 2 
According to it they were the " Saints of Brefi's Synod," at which 
S. David " preached " and acquired his apocryphal supremacy 
over the British Church. The poem leaves one to assume that 
Cybi was present ; if so, the church of Llangybi, a little to the 
south-west of Llanddewi Brefi, was probably then founded by him. 

One of the triplets known as " The Sayings of the Wise " runs : 3 

Hast thou heard the saying of S. Cybi, 
Of Anglesey, to the son of Gwrgi ? 
" There is no misfortune like wickedness." 
(Nid anffawd ond drygioni.) 

Dafydd ab Gwilym alludes to his delw or statue ; 4 and another 
bard mentions his ffon or staff, on which were profusely carved " leaves 
and ripe nuts." 5 

There is a holy well of his, Ffynnon Gybi, near the church of Llan- 
gybi, Carnarvonshire, where he is remembered as Cybi Lan, from the 
sanctity of his life. It was formerly roofed over. The structure consists 
of, first, the well, then a tank for bathers, with seats about it, in a quad- 
rangular structure in fair preservation. Adjoining the well is a building, 
now untenanted, where probably its "priest" or caretaker lived. 

1 Lewis Morris, Celtic Remains, p. 219. 

2 Myv. .Arch., pp. 134, 755. The copy at the latter reference makes their 
discourse to have been with Catwg, whose advice they sought in face of the 
pressure from the Saxons. Cybi is, however, introduced. 

3 lolo MSS. t p. 258. 

4 Barddoniaeth, ed. 1789, p. 143. In the sixteenth century he was, like other 
Welsh Saints, popularly invoked in extremity. Leland, Collectanea, 1774, ii, 
p. 649. 

6 Dafydd Llwyd ab Llywelyn (fifteenth century) 

Ffon a ddanfones lesu 
I Badrig, da fenthyg fu ; 
Cnau a dail cnwd a welynt 
Gwisgi ar ffon Gybi gynt." 

S. Cybi 


The water is very cold and clear, and wells up from a strong spring. 
It is possessed of mineral properties, and was formerly much resorted 
to in cases of scrofula, scurvy, rheumatism, etc. Crutches, wheel- 
barrows, etc., used by the patients, were to be seen about the well in 
the early part of the eighteenth century, and there stood a chest in 
the church for their offerings. The well contained formerly a sacred 
eel. Girls who desired to know their lovers' intentions used to spread 
their pocket-handkerchiefs on the water. If the water pushed them 
southwards their lovers were honourable and true ; but if northwards, 
the contrary. On the hill above is Cadair Gybi, his chair, a naturally- 
formed boulder bearing a striking resemblance to an arm-chair. 1 


Under the Cardiganshire Llangybi Edward Lhuyd wrote : " On 
Ascension Eve they (the people) resort to Ffynnon Wen ; after they 
have washed y^elves, they go to Llech Gybi, that is an arrow's flight 
from the well. There they put the sick under the Llech, where, if the 
sick sleeps, it is an infallible sign of recovery ; if not, of death." 

1 Sir J. Rhys, Celtic Folklore, pp. 365-6 ; Arch. Camb., 1877, p. 330 ; 1904, 
pp. 107-18 ; D. W. Linden, An Experimental and Practical Enquiry, etc., into 
the properties of the water, London, 1767. For a recent poem on the well, see 
Cymru for May 1907, p. 286. 


Lives of the British Saints 


There is a Carreg Gybi, in the sea, at Trwyn y Penrhyn, near Aber- 
daron ; and at Abergavenny a stream called the Kibby Brook. 

The well of S. Cybi at Duloe, in Kippiscombe Lane, consists of a 
spring of water on the left-hand side of the road from Sandplace to 
Duloe church. It flowed into a circular basin of granite, carved and 
ornamented round the edge with figures of dolphins, and on the lower 
part with the figure of a griffin ; it is shaped somewhat like a font, 
and has a drain for the overflow of the water. 

" The well at one time was very much respected, and treated with 
reverence by the neighbouring people, who believed that some dire 
misfortune would befall the person who should attempt to remove it. 
Tradition says that a ruthless fellow once went with a team of oxen 
for the purpose of removing the basin ; on reaching the spot one of 
the oxen fell down dead, which so alarmed the man that he desisted 
from the attempt. In spite of this tradition, however, the basin has 
been moved, probably when the new road was cut, and was taken to 
the bottom of the woods on the Trenant estate ; it is now placed in 
Trenant Park." * 

Cubert is the name of a parish in the North of Cornwall, by the 
Atlantic ; although re-dedicated to S. Cuthbert, there can exist no 
doubt that the patron is the Cornish Cuby or Cybi ; and the village 
feast, which is on November 6, favours this view. 

Here, as Hals says, was "a famous and well-known spring of water 
called Holy Well. . . . The same stands in a dark cavern of the 
sea-cliff rocks ; beneath full sea-mark on spring tides drop down or 
distil continually drops of water from the white, blue, red and green 
veins of these rocks ; and accordingly, in the place where these drops 
of water fall, they swell to a lump of considerable bigness ; and there 
petrifying to the hardness of ice, glass, or freestone, of the several 
colours aforesaid, according to the nature of those veins in the rock 
from whence they proceed." He goes on to say that people frequented 
this well in " incredible " numbers in summer, " from countries far 

This well has nature alone as its architect. It still flows. 

Tregony, Cybi's third foundation, was formerly an important place. 
It had been an important seaport, and merchant vessels came up to 
the base of Castle Hill. But the creek has been silted up, and Tregony 
has declined to be a mere village. The church of S. Cuby there is 
mainly interesting as containing, built into the tower, an inscribed 
stone, bearing on it the names " Nonnita, Ercilini Rigati Tris Fill 
Eralinci." Curious, because, as already said, Non or Nonnita was 

1 Quiller-Couch, Ancient and Holy Wells of Cornwall, London, 1894, pp. 52-3. 

S. Cyfelach 215 

the name of Cybi's aunt, to whom the adjoining parish of Gram- 
pound is dedicated, and where is her holy well. 

As the second Life of S. Cybi in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv, has never 
been published, we give it in the appendix. 

S. CYFELACH, Confessor 

THIS saint presents certain difficulties. A late document printed in 
the lolo MSS. 1 states that he " was a bishop in Llandaff, who was 
killed by the pagans. His church is Llangyfelach, and he has 
another in Euas," or Ewyas, a district bounded on the east by the 
river Dore, and now mainly included in Herefordshire. 2 In the 
Brut y Tywysogion or Gwentian Chronicle, by Caradog of Llancarfan, 
it is recorded that in 754 " was fought the Second Battle of Hereford 
(between the Welsh and the Saxons), in which the Welsh were victori- 
ous ; and there Cyfelach, Bishop of Morgan wg, was slain." 3 A 
Cyfelach is given, from the papers of lolo Morgan wg, as having been 
one of the " Bishops of Glamorgan alias Kenffig." 4 

This Brut is not by any means a trustworthy authority ; and it is 
more than doubtful whether any battle was fought at Hereford in 
754 (or 756), there being no mention of it in any authentic chronicle. 
The Book of Llan Ddv knows no bishop of Llandaff of the name of 
Cyfelach. The only bishop it mentions bearing any similar name is 
Cimeilliauc or Ciuelliauc (among other forms of the name), and several 
grants to Llandaff during his episcopate are therein recorded. 5 He 
was consecrated Bishop of Llandaff by Ethelred, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, in 872 ; taken prisoner by the Norsemen in Erging or Archen- 
field in 915, and ransomed with 40 by King Edward the Elder ; and 
died in 927. He is called Cameleac in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
(s.a. 915), Cymelgeac by Florence of Worcester (under the same year), 
Camelegeac by Henry of Huntingdon (s.a. 918), and Chevelliauc by 
Ralph de Diceto. His name would be in Welsh to-day Cyfeilliog, 
which cannot be equated with Cyfelach 6 (Old Welsh Cemelach). 

1 P. 1 08. 2 We do not know what church in Ewyas the compiler meant. 

3 Myv. Arch., p. 686 ; Arch. Camb., 1864, Supplement, p. 6. 

4 Liber Landavensis, p. 625 ; lolo MSS., p. 361. 5 Pp. 231-7. 

6 Sir J. Rhys, Celtic Folklore, p. 163, is disposed to take the mediaeval 
form Cimeliauc and the modern Cyfelach as representing one and the same name, 
and regards the latter as " an instance of a Goidelic form of a name having the 
local preference in Wales to this day." Cimeliauc, however, is not the best 
attested form of the name. 

2i6 Lives of the British Saints 

A S. Cyfelach must have lived who gave name to Llangyfelach, Glamor- 
ganshire, but he has clearly been confounded with Bishop Cyfeilliog, 
who lived much later. A Camelauc, who occurs in a list of the Abbots 
of Llantwit Major, 1 may have been Bishop Cyfeilliog. 

Llangyfelach is to-day dedicated to S. David, or to SS. Cyfelach and 
David. In the Latin and Welsh Lives of S. David we are told that 
S. David founded a monastery or church there. According to the 
Latin Life he " founded a monastery in the district of Gower, at a 
place called Langemelach, in which he afterwards placed the altar 
sent by Pepiau " 2 ; and Gwynfardd Brycheiniog, an early thirteenth 
century bard, in a poem written in honour of S. David, in which he 
enumerates the churches dedicated to him, or " owned " (pieu) by 
him, says : 

Dewi is the owner of the stately church of Cyfelach, 
Where there is happiness and great devotion. 3 

We are led to suppose that there was a church here originally founded 
by S. Cyfelach, which was afterwards rebuilt by, and " re-dedicated " 
to, S. David. The feast of the patron is, and always has been, the 
First of March, on which day one of the most important fairs in South 
Wales was formerly held. Rees gives it as dedicated to " S. David, 
afterwards Cyfelach." 4 

S. CYFFYLLOG, Confessor 

- THE existence of this Saint seems to rest entirely upon MSS. which 
are quoted in the lolo MSS. 5 He is there said to have been a son 
of Goronwy, of Gwareddog, and brother of SS. Meigan, Padrig, and 
Garmon. He and his brothers, it is added, were Saints of Beuno's 
Cor or monastery at Clynnog. Gwareddog is the Gwredog, in Arfon, 
mentioned in the Life of S. Beuno, which Cadwallon, King of Gwynedd, 
gave to that Saint for a gold sceptre worth sixty cows, but which 
place he afterwards relinquished when claimed by a woman for her 
babe. 6 The early Bonedds in Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45, and Hafod 
MS. 16, know only of Padrig ab Alfryd ab Goronwy, of Gwareddog 
in Arfon. 

1 Williams, Monmouthshire, 1 796, appendix, p. 50. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 123, 136. 

3 Myv. Arch., p. 194. Welsh Saints, p. 337. 

5 P P- 143-4- There is a small chapelry called Gwredog (S. Mary), subject to 
Llanerchymedd, in Anglesey. Cambro-British Saints, p. 1 7. 

S. Cyhylyn 217 

S. CYFLIFER, Martyr 

CYFLIFER, whose name occurs in the later genealogies as Cyflefyr 
and Cyflewyr, was a son of Brychan Brycheiniog. In the two Cognatio 
versions he is entered as Chybliuer and Kyfliuer, and Merthyr Chebliuer 
(Kyfliuer) is said to be called after him. In the pedigrees in Jesus 
College MS. 20, his name is written Cyblider, and he is made to be a 
son of Dingad, and therefore grandson, not son, of Brychan. He 
always occurs in the late lists as son of Brychan. 1 In one entry it 
is stated, " Cyflewyr the Martyr was killed by the pagan Saxons in 
Ceredigion, where he lies buried." 2 No place of the name is known 
in Cardiganshire to-day. A Merthir Cibliuer (Cimliuer) is given in 
the Book of Llan Ddv, 3 as among the churches belonging to that see 
in the time of Bishop Urban (died 1133 or 4), but it has not been 

One of the Achau'r Saint MSS. printed in the lolo MSS.* gives a 
Cyflewyr as son of Gwynllyw Filwr, and brother of Cadoc, of whose 
college at Llancarfan he was a " Saint." The substitution of Gwynllyw 
for Brychan is no doubt an error. 


S. CYHYLYN, Bishop, Confessor 

S. CYHYLYN, the son of Tewdrig ab Teithfalch, was, according to 
the lolo MSS., 5 " Bishop of London in the time of Cystennin Llydaw." 
He is evidently the same as the Gwythelin, saint and bishop, the son 
of this Teithfalch. of the entry immediately preceding it. He is 
the Guitelinus, in the Welsh text Kuelyn, of Geoffrey of Monmouth, 
who styles him " Archbishop of London." Cyhelyn and Gwythelyn 
occur in succession in a late list of chorepiscopi of Llandaff, 6 but it 
is not authentic. 

1 lolo MSS., pp. in, 119, 140 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 422. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 119. ' 3 Pp. 32, 44. 4 P. 130. 
5 P. 137. 6 Liber Landavensis, p. 623. 

2 1 8 Lives of the British Saints 


THERE is no authority whatever for including Cyllin ab Caradog 
ab Bran Fendigaid among the Welsh Saints. 1 His name simply 
occurs as a genealogical link in a pedigree that is purely apocryphal. 
He is supposed to have lived at the close of the first century. A 
MS. printed in the lolo MSS. 2 states that " he was the first among 
the Welsh to give proper names to infants ; for, previously, persons 
were not named before maturity, when the faculties were developed." 

S. CYMORTH, Matron 

CYMORTH, called also Corth, was, according to the late accounts, 
one of the daughters of Brychan, and was married to Brynach Wyddel, 
the Irish priest who was confessor to her father, and mother of Gerwyn, 
Mwynen, Gwenan, and Gwenlliw. 3 

Brynach had been on his travels, and on his return to Emlyn, 
her region, in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen, he met with rough 
treatment. He was hustled from place to place. This was at the 
period when a strong feeling was prevalent among the natives against 
the Irish invaders. The Brychan family was Irish on the father's 
side, and it is possible that they may have made common cause with 
the Welsh against the Gwyddyl. 

The rough treatment experienced by Brynach is hardly to be ex- 
plained otherwise. 

In the Life of this Saint we are informed that " the ancient enemy 
of Mankind . . . vehemently incited the daughter of the chieftain, 
who had given land to the holy man, to be in love with him. She 
. . . endeavoured by every means to enthral the servant of God 
with her snares of alluring pleasures, and ... to allure him to 
her luxurious habits. She mixed wolfsbane with lustful ingredients 
formally prepared, and ceased not to ply him with it to drink ; but 
she prepared the mixture in vain. The holy servant of God did not 
thirst for such a cup. . . . The girl then, putting aside female 
modesty, turned from love to hatred, and endeavoured to put him 
to death in various ways. 

" She accordingly sent some cruel fellows after the holy man, and 

1 Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 82. One of the Triads in the patched-up Third 
Series gives the pedigree of Lucius as " Lleinvg ab Coel ab Cyllin Sant " (Myv. 
Arch., p. 404). z P. 8. 

8 Myv. Arch., pp. 419-20, 422 ; lolo MSS., pp. in, 121, 140-1. 

S. Cynan Genhir 219 

fiercely ordered that if they could not bring him back alive, they 
should not suffer him to depart with life. The wicked men found 
him whom they pursued, and first of all allured him with fair words 
to return. As he refused, one of them stabbed the innocent man, 
inflicting a dreadful wound with a lance, and the others rushed for- 
ward to despatch him, but some persons present intervened and rescued 
the holy man out of the hands of the villains. . . . The holy servant 
of God went to a spring that was near, and getting into the water, 
washed off the blood ; whence, to this day, the fountain is called the 
Red Spring." 1 

The narrative was written not earlier than the twelfth century, 
and was tinkered to suit the views of ecclesiastics of that time. It 
is probable that the woman was his wife Cymorth. She was the 
daughter of the chieftain who had granted him the land, and that 
chieftain was Brychan. Brynach was evidently closely associated with 
her, because she attempted to poison him ; and an assault with weapons 
took place on her land in Emlyn. The fountain, or holy well, is in 
the parish of Henry's Mote, and is now called S. Bernard's (Brynach's) 

The biographer suppressed the fact that his hero was a married 
man, and father of a family, because in his day it was considered 
scandalous that a priest should have wife and children ; he may well 
also have altered the facts and disguised the fact, if fact it was, that 
his wife sought to get rid of him. See also under S. CYNHEIDDON. 

S. CYNAN GENHIR, Confessor 

THE well-known Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd, which occurs earliest in 
the thirteenth century Peniarth MS. 45, has been copied, once whole- 
sale and once in part, into two MSS. of saintly pedigrees printed in 
the lolo MSS., 2 thus making a number of persons to pass as Saints 
who, elsewhere, are not known to have been anything other than 
warriors. Among them we have Cynan Genhir, the son of Cynwyd 
Cynwydion, and brother to Cadrod Calchfynydd, Clydno Eiddyn, 
and Cynfelyn Drwsgl. He is there called Cynan Genir or Gefnhir, 
and he and his brothers are stated to have been disciples of S. Cadoc 
at Llancarfan. 

Cynan is mentioned in a triad as one of the " Three Knight-Coun- 
sellors of Arthur's Court." 3 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 7-8. 2 Pp. 105, 128. 3 Myv. Arch., p. 393. 

22O Lives of the British Saints 

S. CYNAN (CONAN) MEIRIADOG, Prince, Confessor 

CYNAN has suffered from having been laid hold of by Geoffrey of 
Monmouth, who has spun a web of fable about him that has entangled 
and bewildered the historians of Brittany. 1 

The story is to this effect. 

Octavius, King of Britain, bestowed his daughter in marriage on 
Maximus, whom Geoffrey calls Maximian, who assumed the purple 
in Britain ; and when Maximus went into Gaul at the head of a large 
army to assert himself in Gaul, Conan, the nephew of Octavius, led 
a large host of Britons, the flower of the youth, to his assistance. 
Maximus was defeated at Aquileia as he marched against Valentinian, 
and Conan never returned to Britain. 

This has been further embroidered on by the historians of Brittany, 
who make Conan Meriadoc settle there and become the ancestor of 
the kings of Brittany. 

Dom Morice has given the absurd pedigree quoted in the Intro- 
ductory Essay on Lesser Britain? 

M. de la Borderie has taken a very strong line against Conan Meriadoc ; 
he repudiates him altogether. He is doubtless justified in rejecting 
the fabulous matter attached to the story, but it is going too far 
when he says " le glorieux Conan Meriadec doit prendre place 
cote de Pharamond et de bien d'autres, dans la brumeux phalange 
des monarques imaginaires." 3 The legend as hitherto accepted in 
Brittany is that Conan Meriadoc and the flower of the youths of Britain 
were granted the territory of Armorica by Maximus in reward for 
their services rendered to him. After the fall of Maximus in 388 Conan 
maintained himself as duke of Armorica, but made his submission 
to Valentinian II. At last, in 409, this part of Gaul having revolted 
against the emperors and expelled their magistrates, Conan rendered 
himself independent, and governed Armorica as sovereign till about 
421, when he died. 

What Gildas says ( 13, 14) is this : " The island . . . sends 
out Maximus to the two Gauls, accompanied by a great crowd of 
followers, with an emperor's ensigns in addition. . . . After this, 
Britain is robbed of all her armed soldiery, of her military supplies, 
of her rulers, cruel though they were, and of her vigorous youths, 
who followed the footsteps of the above-mentioned tyrant and never 
returned." He does not name Conan, but there was no particular 
reason why he should do so. And nothing can be concluded against 

1 Hist. Briton., v, cc. 8-16. z i, p. 55. 

3 De la Borderie, Hist, de Bretagne, ii, p. 456. 

S. Cynan (Con an} Meiriadog 221 

the tradition that associates Conan with Maximus from his silence. 
Gildas never enters into particulars ; he is always vague and extra- 
vagant, and deals in generalities. 

Nennius is the next writer to refer to this expedition. Nennius 
has gone through amplifications. The first edition was written in 
Alcluid about 679, this was re-edited by one Samuel in 796, or there- 
abouts, and was given its complete form by Nennius somewhat later. 1 

In the Historia Britonum we have this : " The seventh emperor 
who reigned in Britain was Maximianus (var. Maximus). He departed 
from Britain with all the British soldiery, and slew Gratian, King of 
the Romans, and obtained the empire over all Europe, and he would 
not dismiss the soldiers back to Britain who had come over with him, 
to their wives and sons and possessions. But he gave to them many 
regions, from the lake which is at the top of Mount Jove, to the city 
of Cantguic and to the Western Mount, that is to Cruc Ochidient. 
These are the Armorican Britons, and they never returned to this 
day." 2 

The Mons Jovis is, the Mount S. Bernard, and Cruc Ochidient is 
perhaps the point of Finistere. 

According to this account Maximus gave his auxiliaries a very 
extensive region, extending across Gaul. But he does not mean this/ 
but that he settled them in Armorica. There is nothing improbable 
in this. He placed these British troops not as settlers, but in garrisons 
in Armorica, which then included a great deal more than Brittany. 

The Breton historians pretend that it was these troops, the Leti, 
who gave the name of Letavia or Llydaw to Armorica. 3 The first 
author to give the name of Conan is the biographer of S. Gouzenou 
( Wohednovius) , written in 1019, and dedicated to Eudo, Bishop of 
Leon. " One reads in the British History (in Historia Britannica) 
that the Bretons under Brutus and Corineus, having by their valour 
conquered Albion (Albidia), which received from them the name of 
Britain, and the surrounding isles, saw their numbers grow and their 
empire prosper to such an extent, that Conan Meriadoc, a good Catholic 
and warlike man, followed by an infinite multitude such as could 
no longer maintain themselves in the Isle, passed the sea and disem- 
barked in Gaul on the Armorican coast. There his first residence 
was near the river Guilido in Ploucoulm, at a place which to this day 
retains the name of Castel Meriadoc (Plougoulm near Morlaix). 

1 Zimmer, Nennius Vindicates, Berlin, 1893. 

8 Nennius, Hist. Briton., ed. Steveason, 27 ; Irish Nennius, ed. Todd and: 
Herbert, p. 67. 

3 The exact etymology of Letavia, of which Llydaw is the Welsh modification,, 
is unknown, but it does not derive from Leti. 

222 Lives of the British Saints 

With his Bretons he gloriously conquered all that region from one 
sea to the other as far as the city of Angers, together with Rennes 
and Nantes, and slew all the natives who were still pagans, and on this 
<y\ I account called Pengo;uet or Cani^a Capita. As to the women, after 
having cut out their 'tongues so as to incapacitate them for altering 
the British language, the comrades of Conan employed them in 
marriage and for such services as they might require of them. 

" Then, in divers places they built churches in which to sing the 
praises of God ; they divided the land into pious and trefs, and thence- 
forth by the grace of God the country was called Little Britain. And 
thus the Armorican Britons and the insular Britons, having the same 
laws, living as brethren, were for long subject to the same authority, 
as if they inhabited the same region." 

It is impossible to accept this story seriously. What British History 
the author quoted we do not know, but it certainly was not the History 
attributed to Nennius, for there is nothing of this to be found therein. 
He probably quotes some fabulous and legendary history of Brittany. 

As to the fully developed story given by Geoffrey of Monmouth, 
it is unnecessary to quote that. 

The story in the Life of S. Gouizfenou is not only not confirmed 
by any other known writer, but contradicts the statements made in 
some of the earlier Lives of the Saints that the occupation of Brittany 
first took place in the fifth and sixth centuries, and took place peaceably. 

We must now turn to the Welsh accounts. 

Cynan figures earliest in the old Welsh saga called the Dream of 
Maxen Wledig in the Red Book of Hergest, of the late fourteenth cen- 
tury. He is there made to be the son of Eudaf ab Caradog, and 
brother of Adeon and Elen Luyddog (of the Hosts), who became the 
legendary wife of Maxen Wledig or Maximus. The tale gives an 
account of the conquest and settlement of Armorica, which, so far 
as it goes, resembles Geoffrey's. They slew all the men and kept the 
women alive, but " cut out their tongues lest they should corrupt 
their own speech " hence the presence of the Welsh language in 
Armorica ! It differs from Geoffrey's in that it makes Cynan to 
be brother to Elen, and not cousin. 

In the lolo MSS. 1 it is stated that Maxen Wledig "gave lands 
and privileges to the nation of the Cymry in Llydaw, with Cynan 
Meriadog as prince over them. 20,000 of the nation of the Cymry 
went thither, besides women and children, and there they have re- 
mained to this day." 

There is no mention of the colonization of Brittany from Britain 

1 P. 38. 

S. Cynan (Conan] Meiriadog 223 

in the early Triads of the first and second series, but in one of the 
Triads in the third series (of about the sixteenth century) we read *: 
" The third expedition from this island was conducted by Elen Luyddog 
and Cynan her brother, lord of Meiriadog, to Llydaw, where they 
received lands and dominion and sovereignty from the emperor Maxen 
Wledig, for aiding him against the Romans. Those men came from 
the land of Meiriadog, and the land of Seisyllwg (Siluria), and Gower- 
land, and Gorwennydd (in Glamorgan, represented by the old Deanery 
of Groneath, now divided into four) : not one of them returned, but 
they remained in Llydaw and in Vgtre Gyfa^lwg^ hearing j-uie there." 

The compiler of this late series has converted Cynan into lord of 
Meiriadog, by which is usually understood the township of the name 
in the ancient parish of S. Asaph, but now in the parish of Cefn, com- 
prising an area of hardly more than 1,500 acres, and there is nothing 
to indicate that the name ever bore a wider territorial application 
than that it bears to-day. 

Neither in the Dream of Maxen nor anywhere else in genuine Welsh 
tradition is Cynan called Cynan Meiriadog. " Cynan and his family 
have a place in Welsh historical tradition, where Stradweul, the 
daughter of his brother Gadeon, is the wife of Coel Hen, alias Coel 
Godebog. Whereas Meriadoc (to be distinguished both from the 
Saint of that name and from the hero of the romance in MS. Faustina, 
B. vi) seems to have been quite distinct from Cynan, and to belong 
exclusively to Breton tradition, in which he occurs more than once 
without the addition of any ' Conan.' He is apparently the Meriadus 
of Marie de France's Lai de Gugemer (ed. Rochefort, i, 98, etc.)." 2 

The compiler of one of the Achau'r Saint documents printed in 
the lolo MSS. could not resist the temptation to include him among 
the Welsh Saints. The entry runs, " Cynan ab Eudaf, of the family 
of Bran Fendigaid, was bishop in London in the time of Maxen 
Wledig" 3 (fourth century). He is the Conanus who is given as the 
fifth " Archbishop " of London. 

Among the " Sayings of the Wise " triplets occurs the following : 4 

Hast thou heard the saying of Cynan Wledig, 
A saint of good disposition ? 
" Every indiscreet person injures his portion." 
(Drycai bob ammhwyll ei ran). 

By this Cynan is no doubt meant the Cynan Wledig (Aurelius 
Conan) whom Geoffrey makes king of Britain between Cystennin 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 402 ; cf. p. 412. 

* Mr. Egerton Phillimore in Y Cymmrodor, xi, p. 72. 

3 P. 137 ; cf. Le Neve, Fasti, ii, p. 273 ; Stubbs, Regist. Sacr. Anglic., p. 152. 

4 lolo MSS., p. 253 ; Myv. Arch., p. 129 (one of " the Stanzas of the Hearing "). 

224 Lives of the British Saints 

ab Cadwr (whom Cynan slew) and Gwrthefyr, 1 placing him in the 
sixth century ; but we nowhere find this Cynan reckoned among 
the Welsh Saints. 

S. CYNAN of Armorica, see S. CYNON 

S. CYNAN (KENAN), Bishop, Confessor 

THE sole authority for the life of this Saint is a Life given by Albert 
le Grand from a MS. by Maurice, vicar of Cleder, where was the Saint's 
tomb, and derived, we may presume, fromdocuments then preserved 
at Cleder. Although Maurice may have been correct, we have no 
means of checking his statements, by any earlier Lives ; and Maurice 
wrote probably in the beginning of the seventeenth century. The 
earlier portion of the Life bears marks of containing genuine history, 
but the latter portion is vitiated by the introduction of matter derived 
from Geoffrey of Monmouth. 2 

Cynan was also named Colledoc, and was the son of a prince in 
Britain named Ludun, and his mother's name was Tagu. 

The prince meant is certainly Lleuddun Luyddog, of Dinas Eiddyn, 
who has left his name to Lothian, and who was grandfather of S. 
Cyndeyrn. Joscelyn, in his Life of this latter Saint, calls " Leudonus " 
a king " semipaganus." 

Lleuddun.Vft^Eslew-, was son of Cynfarch Gul by Nyfain, daughter 
of Brychan, and the brother of Urien Rheged. Geoffrey of Mon- 
mouth has converted Llew into Lot, King of Norway, and makes him 
marry Anna, sister of King Arthur. Tennyson makes him the husband 
of Bellicent, and king of Orkney. 

According to the Life by Maurice, Cynan was a bishop in his native 
country, but he started on his travels and came to Cambria. There 
he was informed by an angel that he must go further, and carry a 
bell, till he came to a place called Ros-enes, where he would build a 
hermitage, and where he was to tarry, and the bell which he carried 
should ring of itself when he had reached the proper locality. 

He therefore applied to an excellent founder, named Gildas, who 
at his request furnished him with the desired bell ; then having joined 
disciples to him, Cynan started in quest of the place where he was 
to settle. 

1 Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 233. 

2 Albert le Grand, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, ed. 1901, pp. 561-3. 



S. Cynan (Kenan) 22$ 

We might have supposed that this Ros-enes was Rosina, or the 
monastery of S. David in Menevia, but this cannot be, as Cynan has 
left no trace there, whereas, as we shall see presently, he has done 
so elsewhere. Maurice, who wrote the Life, evidently had no conception 
that the Gildas of his text was the great Gildas, whom we know from 
other sources to have been an expert bell-founder. The mention of 
Gildas helps towards the fixing of the period at which Cynan lived. 

After having journeyed several days, becoming wearied with his 
travels, he and his disciples cast themselves down on the turf near 
a branch of the sea named Hildrech (Hirdraeth), when he heard a 
man by the waterside shouting to another across the water, asking 
him if he had seen his cows that had strayed. " Yes," replied the 
other, " I saw them yesterday on Rosenes." Cynan, rejoiced, went 
down the shore of this arm of the sea, which beach has since been called 
Krestenn-ke, that is to say, the Beach of S. Cynan. There, as his 
disciples were thirsty, he miraculously elicited a fountain of limpid 

Then, crossing the" creek, they reached a thick forest, where the 
bell carried by the Saint at once began to tinkle. Thereupon he set 
to work to clear the ground, and to erect a chapel and cells for him- 
self and his followers. 

Now there resided at no great distance from where he had taken 
up his abode, a prince named Theodoric (Tewdrig), and as he was one 
day hunting in the forest of Rosenes, a stag of which he was in pursuit 
took refuge with Cynan, who facilitated its escape. Tewdrig was 
furious, and carried off seven oxen and a cow that belonged to Cynan, 
and which served to draw his plough. But next day a like number 
of stags offered themselves to the Saint to be employed by him in 
tilling the land. Thenceforth the place was called Guestel Guervet, 
which Maurice tells us is the British for " the field of stags." 

Cynan, nevertheless, went to Gudrun, where Tewdrig had his resi- 
dence, to demand back his oxen, but the tyrant in reply struck the 
Saint in the face and broke one of his teeth. Cynan returned to his 
settlement and washed his mouth at the well there, and thenceforth 
the said well has been held in great repute for toothache. Tewdrig 
thought better of the matter after the Saint was gone ; he restored 
the oxen and the cow, and gave to him some land. 

Cynan had now gathered about him a good number of disciples, and 
he resolved on crossing over into Armorica. For this purpose he 
took ship at the port of Landegu, the vessel was loaded with corn, 
and with it they arrived at Cleder on the coast of Leon, where Cynan 
at once laid the foundations of a monastery. 
VOL . n. Q 

226 Lives of the British Saints 

Before proceeding, it will be well to determine as far as may be, 
the localities named above. 

The parish of S. Cynan, or Kea, in Cornwall is on the Fal river, and 
the long tidal creek running some ten miles up to Truro may well 
be the Hirdraeth. Gudrun of the text is Goodern in S. Kea, where 
still may be seen the earthworks of Tewdrig's dun. 

The port of Landegu is Landege, the old name for the parish, 
as appears in the Episcopal Registers, B. Bronescombe's (1264), B. 
Brantyngham's (1379), an( ^ B. Stafford's (1416). Landege is simply an 
abbreviation of Lan-ty-Kea. 

Rosenes has left its name to Roseland, the long promontory, almost 
island, between the mouth of the Fal and the sea. S. Kea is, however, 
not in it, but the title of Rosenes may have extended further, or 
been applied as well to the spit of land between Restronguet and 
Caleneck creeks. Of the two springs elicited by the Saint, one to 
quench the thirst of his disciples still exists, and is called " Quench- 
well"; the other is simply the Holy Well, and is that at which he is 
said to have washed his bloody mouth. 

Kenan seems to have made his principal foundation at Plou- 
guerneau (Plou-Cernau) in Leon ; and we are informed in the Life of 
S. Joavin, nephew and successor of S. Paul Aurelian, when that latter 
Saint retired to the Isle of Batz, that Joavin ordained Kenan priest. 

Joavin did not hold the see much over a year, and falling ill at 
Brasparz, tidings reached Kenan, who hurried to S. Paul in his re- 
treat and informed him of the dangerous state in which lay Joavin. 
Paul was too old and feeble to undertake the journey himself, so he 
commissioned Kenan to attend to Joavin. Kenan accordingly went 
to Brasparz and ministered to Joavin till his death. 1 

According to the Life by Maurice, after Cynan had been some time 
in Leon, tidings reached him of the differences between Arthur and 
Modred, his nephew, and he crossed over into Britain in the hope of 
reconciling them. Unable to succeed, he visited Gwenhwyfar, at 
Winchester, probably Caer Went, and consoled her, and advised her 
to lead a better life for the future. He then returned to Armorica 
to his monastery at Cleder. Although all this portion of the Life 
is vitiated by the influence of Geoffrey's History, yet there is this much 
to say for it, that Cynan was brother to Modred, and both were the 
nephews of Arthur, so that he may well have supposed it his duty to 

On his return to Cleder, Cynan buried his faithful disciple Kerien, 
who has given his name to the parish of Querrien, and soon after he 
1 Albert le Grand, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, ed. 1901, pp. 55-6. 

S. Cynan (Kenan) 227 

fell ill himself, and died on the first Saturday in October. According 
to the Annales Cambria, the battle in which Arthur and Modred fell 
was fought in 537. 

In or near 527 Gildas was in Britain, and it may have been then 
that he gave a bell to Cynan. 

There do not appear any anachronisms in the story as it reaches us. 
S. Cynan, or Kea, died on the first Saturday in October, and the feast 
is kept at S. Kea on the nearest Sunday to October 3. When the 
licence for the performance of divine service at S. Kea, on the rebuilding 
of the church in 1802, was granted, it was stated in it : " The church 
will be fit for the celebration of Divine Service on or by the third day 
of October next, on which day it is not only the desire of the said 
petitioners, but also (as is alleged) of the parishioners of the said parish 
in general, that the same should be opened that day, being the day of 
their Saint, and the day on which, it is understood, their old church 
was dedicated." 

Taking October 3 as his day, and as he died on the first Saturday 
in that month, this would give as the date of his death, 539, 544, 550, 
561, 567, 572, 578, 589, 595. 

In Brittany the saint is called Kenan, or Ke, and has two churches 
dedicated to him in the Cotes du Nord, Saint Quay near Etables, and 
the other near Perosguirec. 

There are also dedications to him at Plogoff and Plouguerneau. 
At S. Quay in Treguier he has been supplanted by S. Caius, Pope, for 
patron, as being in the Roman Martyrology, and even at Cleder he 
has been supplanted by S. Caraunus. He has undergone a " posthu- 
mous martyrdom " at Cleder, as a blind beggar told M. Le Braz. Said 
he : " There is hardly a shabby trick that has not been played on 
S. Ke. He has been turned out of his church, like a farmer who 
cannot pay his rent. He has had to take refuge above his Holy Well 
at Lezlao, where he now remains. His lot has been a sad one. That 
is not all. When he occupied the parish church, not a woman who 
expected confinement, not a young mother, who did not make him 
handsome presents. In those days it was said that no saint was a 
patch upon him for curing children's disorders. His statue was 
bonnetted with little baptismal caps of his tiny proteges. Troops of 
small boys and girls were brought to him on the day of his pardon. 
He was held, also, to watch over the prosperity of houses, to take an 
interest in the harvest, for he himself had been a corn-factor (a reference 
to his passage on the corn-ship). He was considered also as powerful 
against the murrain. For all his services he nowadays does not 
even receive a ' thank-you.' He is now thought to be no good at all 

228 Lives of the British Saints 

save for watching over pigs. He has sunk to being regarded as their 
patron Sant ar moc 'h. His feast, his pardon, are no more celebrated. " ] 

Albert le Grand gives the day of S. Ke in Brittany on November 5, 
probably as that of the " invention" of his relics, but his name does 
not occur in the Breviary of Leon, or in any of the extant early 

In the beginning of the nineteenth century, a vicar of Lanmeur, 
named Clech, wrote a Guerz or ballad on the story of S. Cynan, and 
identified him with Cianan, Bishop of Duleek, who was baptized by 
S. Patrick, and probably died about 500. But this was mere guess- 
work, and the earlier Guerz of S. Ke, composed about 1600, makes 
him a native of Britain, a son of Ludun. 

The day of Cianan of Duleek is November 24 ; he appears in 
the Llanthony Calendar of the latter part of the fourteenth century 
(Corp. Chris. Coll., Oxford). 

At Cleder is his statue, representing him as a bishop, with a roll 
partly open in his left hand, and with a bell at his feet. At Plouguer- 
neau, he is represented as a hermit with a spade in his hand. It 
seems strange that in both Cornwall and Brittany Cynan or Kenan 
should be abbreviated to Kea or Ke, but there can be no doubt that 
it has been done. His Life was in the church of Cleder, where his 
feast was observed, and his sepulchre remained. Liturgically he was 
called Kenanus, and in Plouguerneau, of which he is patron, the name 
remains attached to a wood where is his chapel, Coat-Kenan. But 
the popular name is Ke or Quay. 

At Cleder is his holy well, called Feunteun-Sant-Ke or Feunteun-ar- 
Glao, or the Well of Rain, as to it the peasants had recourse in times 
of dryness. The water is also thought to be troubled at the approach 
of rain. " A battered effigy of S. Ke adorns the little structure over 
the well. Hither the good people came when the saint was banished 
from the parish church. He has a shabby and lamentable appearance, 
this unfortunate Breton saint. Nevertheless he retains some faithful 
adherents, for a pious hand had put on the head of the stone figure a 
child's cap, almost new, and other offerings of a like nature were 
rotting in a heap at his feet, when I visited the well." 2 

S. CYNBRYD, Martyr 

CYNBRYD is said to have been one of the many reputed sons of 

1 Le Braz, " Les Saints Bretons d'apres les Traditions populaires ", Annales 
de Bretagne, ix (1894), p. 599. 2 Ibid., x (1894), p. 42. 

S. Cyndaf 229 

Brychan Brycheiniog, but his name does not occur in either version 
of the Cognatio. According to the late accounts he was " a saint in 
Llanddulas," on the coast in Denbighshire, and is reported to have 
been " slain by the unbelieving Saxons at Bwlch Cynbryd " l (his pass). 
The church of Llanddulas, sometimes formerly called Llangynbryd, 
would thus probably be a martyrium, and not a foundation of his. 
The exact location of Bwlch Cynbryd is not known ; but the parish is 
a small one, so in all probability it is the little pass close by. The 
church of the adjoining parish of Llysfaen is dedicated to his brother 
Cynfran, and not far off, at Llannefydd, is another to a reputed 
member of the Brychan clan. 

Cynbryd's festival is March 19, which occurs in a good number 
of the Welsh Calendars. In the calendars in the two sixteenth century 
Peniarth MS. 186 and Llanstephan MS. 181 it is entered against the 
2Oth, evidently by mistake. Browne Willis, 2 on the other hand, says 
of Llanddulas, " Feast kept the first Sunday in September " ; and 
Edward Lhuyd, in his so-called Itinerary, 1699, has under the parish, 
" the sixth week of- harvest (Chwech wythnos or Kynhayaf) they 
keep their Wake. Some say Cymryd (or Cyvryd ?) 3 is their saint." 

William Salesbury, in his Welsh Dictionary, 1547, s - v -> gives Cynbryd 
as the Welsh form of the name of S. Cuthbert, the seventh century 
Bishop of Lindisfarne, who was born of humble parentage in that 
district of ancient Northumbria beyond the Tweed. Possibly he was 
led to the equation by S. Cuthbert's festival falling on March 20. 
But it is curious that the wake date given for the parish should also 
appear to coincide with the feast of the Translation of S. Cuthbert, on 
September 4. It rather suggests a Cuthbertine dedication for Llan- 

Cynbryd, as a common noun, means a prototype, model, or emblem. 


S. CYNDAF or Cyndaf Hen, " a man of Israel," and his son Meugant 
Hen, Arwystli Hen, " a man of Italy," with Hid, " a man of Israel," 
as their " principal," are represented as having accompanied Bran 
Fendigaid as Christian missionaries from Rome to Britain in the first 

1 lolo MSS., pp. in, 119, 140 ; Myv. Arch., p. 422. 

2 Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 371. 

3 For the forms see also Myv. Arch., p. 422. 

230 Lives of the British Saints 

century. l In another document 2 Cyndaf is said to have come with 
" Garmon, or, as others say, Cadfan." 

The story has not the slightest foundation in fact, and the persons 
mentioned are all as mythical as Bran himself. There are no churches 
dedicated to a S. Cyndaf. 

The name Cyndaf occurs as Cunotami and Cunatami (in the genitive) 
on the Ogam-Latin inscribed stone at S. Dogmael's, near Cardigan. 
We have it later, in the Book of Llan Ddv, as Condav. 3 

S. CYNDDYLIG, Confessor 

CYNDDYLIG, or Cynddilig, was son of S. Nwython ab Gildas ab Caw, 
and the father of SS. Egwad and Gwrin. He is said to have been a 
saint in Somersetshire. He is probably the S. Cynddylan of another 
list of Gildas 's children. 4 Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions " Kyndelic 
uab Nwython " as among the distinguished company present at the 
coronation of King Arthur at Caerleon. 5 

There is no church to-day dedicated to Cynddylig, but he was 
culted in Cardiganshire. Rees 6 gives Capel Cynddilig as an extinct 
chapel in Llanrhystyd parish, in that county. His festival is All 
Saints' Day, but the only early calendar in which it is known to occur 
is the South Wales one denominated S, of the sixteenth century. The 
entry runs : " The Festival of Cynddilig, within the parish of Rhystyd, 
where indulgences were granted (yr oedd enaid rydd) from midday 
on All Saints' Eve until midday on All Saints' Day, and cocks were 
offered for the cure of whooping cough." The festival of S. Rhystyd 
is " the Thursday in the Ember Week before Christmas," on which 
day a fair is held, but there is also a hiring fair at Llanrhystyd on 
November u. 

It is doubtful whether by him was intended " Kyndelic Kyuarwyd," 
who is mentioned in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, in the long list of 
Arthur's warriors, at whose hands Culhwch sought Olwen. His 
services were indispensable for the quest, " for as good a guide was he 
in a land which he had never seen as he was in his own." 7 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 100, 102 ; Cambrian Journal, 1859, p. 234. 

2 lolo MSS., p. 145. 

3 The name-element also occurs in Cawr-daf, Gwyn-daf, Mael-daf, etc. 

* lolo MSS., pp. 1 37, 1 39. He occurs as a son of Caw in one list of his children. 
We have the name-element (for earlier dolic) also in Gwr-ddylig. The name 
occurs in Irish as Cu-duiligh. 

6 Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 200. 6 Welsh Saints, p. 328. 

7 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 106, 114. 

J c- . > C 

S. Cyndeyrn (Kentigern] 231 

S. CYNDEYRN (KENTIGERN), Bishop, Confessor 

THE materials for a Life of this saint are : 

1. A fragment, by an anonymous monk, addressed to Hubert, Bishop 
of Glasgow (1147-1164), now in the British Museum, Cotton MS. Titus 
A. xix, ff . 76-80 ; it is printed in the Regestrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, 
1843, i, pp. Ixxviii-lxxxvi, and in Pinkerton's Lives of the Scottish 
Saints, revised by Metcalfe, Paisley, 1889, ii, pp. 97-109. 

This gives the story of the conception and birth of Kentigern with 
considerable detail, very unsavoury. It continues to where Kentigern 
becomes a disciple of S. Servan, and there breaks off. 

2. A complete Life by Joscelyn of Furness, written probably in 
1180, and addressed to Joscelyn, Bishop of Glasgow (1175-1199). 
Joscelyn states that he based it on an earlier Glasgow legend, and also 
on a document written in Irish. 1 This Life (of which two MSS. exist, 
one in Cotton MS. Vitell. C. viii, the other in Bishop Marsh's library, 
Dublin, V. 3, 4, 16), has been printed by Pinkerton, op. cit., ii, pp. 1-96. 

3. A third Life, by John of Tynemouth, based on that of Joscelyn, 
in Cotton MS. Tib. E. i, f. 17. This has been printed by Capgrave, 
Nova Legenda Anglia:, and again by the Bollandists, Acta SS., Jan j, 
pp. 816-825. 

4. Officium Sti. Kentigerni, in Regest. Ep. Glasg., pp. Ixxxvii-c, 
and in Pinkerton, op. cit., ii, pp. 110-116. 

5. A fragment of a Life, compiled early in the fourteenth century, 
in the Red Book of S. Asaph. (See under S. ASAPH.) 

The period in which lived S. Kentigern, says Bishop Forbes, 2 " was 
one fertile in the types of that peculiar sanctity which characterizes 
the Celtic and British races. The contemporary of S. Columba in 
Dalriadic Scotia, of S. Servanus in JFib, and of S. Terreanus in Magh- 
circin or Mearns, Kentigern was brought into close connexion with the 
saints of Wales, who flourished in great abundance in the sixth century 
after Christ. For this was a century of energetic national life and 
of religious and mental activity in Wales. It was the time of Arthur, 
who, divested of the mythical accretions of after times, appears in 
authentic history as a Christian prince who combated in twelve battles 

1 " Quaesivi diligenter vitam si forte inveniretur, quae major! auctoritate, 
et evidentiori veritate, fulciri, et stilo cultiori videretur exarari, quam ilia, quam 
vestra frequentat ecclesia ; quia illam . . . tincta per toturn decolorat inculta 
oratio, obnubilat stilus incompositus : quod prae iis omnibus quilibet sane 
sapiens magis abhorret, in ipso narrationis frontispicio quiddam sanae doctrinae, 
et catholicae fidei adversum, evidenter apparet. Codiculum autem alium, stilo 
Scottico, dictatum, reperi, per totum soloecismis scatentem ; diflfusius tamen 
vitam et actus Sancti Pontificis continentem." Pinkerton, op. cit., p. 2. 

3 Kalendars of Scottish Saints, Edinb., 1872, p. 362. 

232 Lives of the British Saints 

Octa, the son, and Ebessa, the nephew of Hengest, in their attempt 
to seize the country between Forth and Clyde. It was the epoch of 
S. David, S. Iltutus, S. Sampson, and S. Teilo, Bishop of Llandaff." 
It is much to be regretted that Joscelyn meddled with his material. 
He found in the original Life, as he says, " Quiddam sanae doctrinae 
etCatholicae fidei adversum," doubtless some Celtic peculiarities, and 
these, shocking his mediaeval and Roman mind, he omitted or altered 
to suit the prevailing tone of thought in the twelfth century. He 
went about through " plateas et vicos civitatis " picking up legendary 
matter concerning the saint. 

If he allowed himself a great deal of sermonizing, and invented and 
put into the mouth not only of his hero, but of an angel, tall talk of 
his own, he nevertheless preserved a good deal of very valuable 

It is, however, deeply to be regretted that the far more valuable 
anonymous Life is a mere fragment, for it preserves in what remains 
very important details which Joscelyn passes over. 

According to the Welsh saintly genealogies Cyndeyrn was the son 
of Owain ab Urien, of the race of Coel Godebog. l In the more ancient 
he is called Cyndeyrn Garthwys. His father Owain was a celebrated 
personage, and figures in some of the early mediaeval Welsh romances, 
viz., The Dream of Rhonabwy, Owain and Luned, and Peredur ; whilst 
his grandfather Urien Rheged is also distinguished in history and 

The same genealogies vary as regards the actual form of his mother's 
name, but the best attested is Denw. 2 Her father was Lleuddun 
Luyddog, of Dinas Eiddyn (Edinburgh), the eponymus of Lleuddu 
niawn or Leudonia, the Lothian of to-day. He is the Llew or Lot 
of Geoffrey's Brut. Denw was the sister of Beren, S. Beuno's mother. 
The fragmentary Life confirms this. 

It says that Leudonus, vir semipaganus, was king of the province 
in North Britain called Leudonia ; and he had a step-daughter (filiam 
novercatam) named Thaneu. This damsel was sought in marriage by 
" Ewen filius Erwegende. ... In gestis historiarum vocatur Ewen 

1 Peniarth MSS. 16 (early thirteenth century), 45 (late thirteenth century), 
and 12 (early fourteenth century) ; Hafod MS. 16 (circa 1400, Myv. Arch., p. 
415), and Cambro-British Saints, p. 266 (the two last as Cyndeyrn mob Garthwys) ; 
lolo MSS., pp. 1 02, 127 ; Myv. Arch., p. 421. Cyndeyrn, who was a Brython, 
was called by the Goidels In Glas Chu, the Grey Hound, which has survived in 
the name of Glasgow. Cyndeyrn means a supreme ruler. 

2 Peniarth MS. 16 and Hafod MS. 16. It is given as Denyw in Peniarth MS. 
45 ; Dyfuyr in Peniarth MS. 12 ; and Dwywe in lolo MSS., p. 127 ; cf. Myv. 
Arch., p. 421. As Tenew her name has been corrupted in Scotland into 
S. Enoch, as in S. Enoch's church and station in Glasgow. 

S. Cyndeyrn (Kentigern) 233 

filius regis Ulien." As Theneu refused the addresses of Owain, the 
king sent her to live with a swine-herd ; and whilst she was in this 
menial capacity Owain disguised himself as a girl, and seduced her. 

When Theneu gave signs of becoming a mother, the king was furious, 
and ordered her to be stoned to death. But the executioners instead 
placed her in a cart, pulled this to the top of the mountain Kepduf, 
and toppled it over the brink. But by a miracle she was not hurt, 
the mark of the wheels was left in the stone, and a miraculous spring 
bubbled up on the spot. 

Then' she was taken about three thousand paces off to Aberlessic, so 
called because the fishermen covered the strand with the offal of the 
fish they netted there, and the place stank. Here she was committed 
to the sea in a coracle and was carried by the current to Culros. 

The king then went after the swine-herd, supposing that he had 
seduced Theneu, and he fled to some marshes, where being still pursued, 
he flung his spear at the king and transfixed him. " And the friends 
of the king erected as a royal token, a great stone in the place where 
he fell, 'imposito illi desuper saxo minore arte cavatoria,' which 
still remains, distant from Dunpleder, on the south side, about a mile." 

She was washed ashore, and had just time to crawl to the remains 
of a fire still smouldering, which some shepherds had left, before the 
pangs of maternity were on her. 

Next morning, the shepherds, returning to the spot, saw Theneu 
and her new-born son. They at once announced the fact to S. Serf 
or Servan, who lived near. 

The Breviary of Aberdeen makes " Praeclarus Dei confessor Kenti- 
gernus nobilissima inclitorum Scotia prosapia patre Eugenio Eufurenn 
rege Cumbrise matre vero Tenew filia Loth regis Laudoniae ortus." 
Here Owain appears as Eugenius, and Urien as Eufurenn. 

Joscelyn says that the mother greatly desired to imitate the Blessed 
Virgin in her conception and child-bearing, and when she was found 
with child, utterly denied having given occasion to this. Joscelyn 
then asserts that S. Kentigern was born, like Christ, of a pure virgin. 

Joscelyn says that it was formerly the rule that a girl who had 
become pregnant out of marriage should be thrown down a precipice, 
and that the man should lose his head. " In like manner," he adds 
" among the ancient Saxons and almost down to modern times it was 
customary that a virgin rendered pregnant against her father's will 
should be buried alive, and the violator should be hung over her grave." 

The casting adrift in a coracle covered with one hide was a not 
unusual punishment among Celtic races. 

The story must be taken with a large pinch of salt. The Welsh 

234 Lives of the British Saints 

genealogies, which indeed give Denw as wife of Owain ab Urien, also 
state that, as Tenoi, she was the wife of Dingad ab Nudd Hael. But 
this is a mistake. Chronologically it is not possible that she could 
have been wife of Dingad, as Nudd Hael was a contemporary of 
Rhydderch Hael, the great protector of Cyndeyrn, son of his cousin 
Nudd's wife by her slip with Owain. By Nudd she is represented as 
the mother of Dingad. 

To return to the legend. When S. Serf came to the spot and saw 
the pretty babe, his dry heart melted, and he exclaimed " Mochohe ! 
Mochohe ! " (i.e., My darling, my darling !) He at once adopted both 
mother and child, and baptized them, calling the latter Centiern or 
King's Head. 

The child grew up in the old man's cell, and was instructed by him 
in all sacred knowledge ; and he was such a ready pupil and so amiable 
that Serf was wont to call him Munghu (Dear Pet), and this is the 
name by which in Scotland Kentigern is generally known. 

Serf had other pupils, and they became jealous of the predilection 
shown to Munghu, and vented their spite upon him by wringing the 
neck of a tame robin, of which he was fond, and by extinguishing the 
fire on the night when it was his turn to sit up and watch it. On the 
latter occasion he rekindled the fire by rubbing together dry hazel 
sticks. J At length, the animosity of his fellow pupils made it intoler- 
able for him to remain longer with S. Serf, but his dissatisfaction 
was brought to a head when the cook died, and the duties this man 
had discharged were imposed on Kentigern. This was so distasteful 
to him that, in spite of the urgency of his master, he resolved to leave. 
He then crossed the estuary of the Forth, near a spot since called 
S. Servan's Bridge. Joscelyn found in the original Life something 
about his traversing the Forth between the flux and reflux of the 
tide, and not understanding the words Mallena and Ledo converted 
them into the reaches of the Teith and Forth, 2 which run nearly 
parallel to each other till within about three miles of Stirling, when 
the Forth, the southern of the two rivers, bends suddenly to the north, 
and empties itself into the Teith. 

The young saint now went to Carnock, where lived a certain Fergus, 
who was dying, and with his last breath made over to him his cell, 
and requested that his body might be transferred to Glasghu, where 

" Vigiliarum tempore Kentigernus ignem monasterii extinctum reperiens 
ramum cujusdam coruli viridis arripiens . . . insufflavit, et confestim igne 
celitus emisso ramus . . . ardere cepit." The word viridis was added to make 
the incident miraculous. 

2 " Aestus crescentes Malinas, decrescentes autem placuit appellare Ledones." 
Bede, De Nat. Rerum, c. 28. 

S. Cyndeyrn (Kentigern) 235 

S. Ninian had consecrated a cemetery, and where it would receive 
Christian burial. 

At Glasgow Kentigern remained for some time. The king of that 
region, Strathclyde, together with the other Christians there, requested 
Kentigern to become their bishop, although at the time he was aged 
only five and twenty. He consented, and a bishop was summoned 
from Ireland to consecrate him. This did not please Joscelyn ; he 
apologizes for the neglect of having three together to ordain, according 
to the Nicene rule, and says that the Britons and Irish were " insulani," 
beyond the civilized world, surrounded by pagans and ignorant of the 
ecclesiastical customs. But he is guilty of disingenuousness when, 
later, he makes Kentigern doubt the validity of his orders, and go to 
Rome to get the Pope Gregory to supplement the defects in the rite 
he had undergone. That this is a wilful invention of Joscelyn can 
hardly be doubted. 

Kentigern now made a visitation of his diocese, and found 
that, although the country had been nominally Christianized, the 
bulk of the population was pagan. Moreover, Morken, 1 the king, 
was not cordial, when he saw with what energy the new bishop prose- 
cuted his work, and he sneered at his vehemence, and came to an open 
rupture when, a flood occurring, a rick of corn was carried down the 
Clyde from the royal estate, and having stranded by Kentigern's 
monastic settlement, the Saint made no scruple in appropriating it. 

Shortly after this Morken died, but his successors were still more 
hostile to Kentigern, and he, believing that a conspiracy had been 
formed to murder him, fled to Wales. The account in the Red Book 
of S. Asaph makes Kentigern escape from Morken. 2 On his way 
south, he halted at Carleolum (or Carlisle), and there learned that 
paganism still lingered in the mountainous parts near. He turned 
aside, and did good mission work. At the headquarters where he 
preached, he planted a cross, and the place is now called Crosthwaite. 

Then he resumed his journey, and going out of his way, " per loca 
maritima," collected a harvest of souls. At length he arrived in 
Menevia, and remained some time with S. David. 

His fame having reached Cathwallanus in North Wales, that prince 
invited him to his dominions. In the Life in the Red Book of S. Asaph 
the king is called Caswallaunus, by whom is meant Cadwallon Lawhir, 
the father of Maelgwn. J- 

1 John of Tynemouth calls him Marceu. The name is Morcant in Nennius. 

2 " Beatus Kentigernus ab impio rege Morken occidentalium partium Albaniae 
et suis dolosis complectibus dire et crudeliter persecutus divinae monitiae propriam 
civitatem de Glascu deseruit." Red Book of S. Asaph, p. 43. 

236 Lives of the British Saints 

Kentigern travelled with a great body of monks and military men. 
" Cum eo turba multa clericorum, militorum, et ministrorum, numero 

Cadwallon bade him select any place he liked for his settlement. 
One day Kentigern saw a wild boar pawing and tearing up the turf 
with his tusks near the river Elwy, and he resolved on fixing his 
abode there. 

All went on smoothly for a while, but when Maelgwn succeeded to 
his father, troubles began. Maelgwn did not relish having so large 
a colony planted in his territory, and made difficulties. Joscelyn calls 
the king" quidam regulus nomine Melconde Galganu," but there can 
be no question that Maelgwn is intended. The account of the monas- 
tery, which is given with detail, is interesting, but we do not know to 
what an extent it was coloured by Joscelyn. Kentigern 's foundation 
attracted great numbers of all ranks and ages, and it was filled with 
965 monks. These he divided into three bands ; 300 who were 
illiterate were deputed to take care of the cattle and till the 
fields ; 300 were set apart to perform household duties within the 
monastery ; the remaining 365 were devoted to the sacred offices, 
which were continued without intermission, day and night. 1 

Among the Saint's favourite pupils was S. Asaph, of whom we have 
already treated. 

Whilst Kentigern was at Llan Elwy S. David died, and he had a 
vision of David's reception into heaven. 

Joscelyn here introduces the expedition of Kentigern to Rome to 
have what was wanting in his orders supplied by Pope Gregory. As 
Gregory was not pope till 590, and Kentigern returned to Glasgow 
shortly after 573, he falls into an anachronism. That the saint went 
to Rome at all is improbable, certainly not seven times as Joscelyn 
would have us believe. 

Meanwhile, in Strathclyde great changes had taken place. These 
will be best understood by a quotation from Skene's Celtic Scotland? 
which we will give after a few prefatory remarks. 

There were, at this time, four British kings in Strathclyde ; and 
the Saxons had invaded and occupied the Lothians. With these the 
Britons were engaged in war. North of Strathclyde was the Scotic 

1 " Divisit per turmas et conventus collegium, ut uno conventu servitium 
Dei in ecclesia terminante, continue alter intrans illud inchoaret.quo consummante, 
alius consequenter celebraturus introiret. Sane sacris conventibus convenienter 
et discrete dispositis, et vicissim subintrantibus, dum opus Dei jugitercelebraret, 
regulariter oratio sine intermissione ab ecclesia ilia ad Deum fiebat ; et bene- 
dicendo Dominum in omni tempore semper laus Dei in ore eorum resonabat." 

8 Celtic Scotland, Edinb., 1876, i, pp. 156-7. 

tjrjt***' *- t-* f*~ 

" / 

' *~ 

^ /^y~~* 


. Cyndeyrn (Kentigerri) 237 

colony of Dalriada, comprising Argyll, engaged in thrusting back the 
Picts. But the Pict still held the present counties of Wigtown and 

The four British kings were Urien, Rhydderch Hael,_Gwenddoleu 
and Morcant. These four had combined against Hussa, son of Ida 
of Bernicia, who began to reign in 567. 1/\S* 

But there were elements of discord at work among these princes, 
which brought them at last into internecine conflict. 

Rhydderch belonged to the party of the Britons which had been 
most affected by Roman civilization, and claimed to have among 
them descendants of the Roman colonists, and of the soldiery set to 
guard the Wall connecting the Clyde and the Firth of Forth. 

The other party, headed by Gwenddoleu and Morcant had not been 
influenced in the same way, and represented the pure Celtic element, 
with its tribal organization unmodified! 

" Dissensions seem now to have broken out among the Britons 
themselves, who formed two parties, arising from other grounds 
besides those of supposed descent. The existence in the country of a 
pagan people like the Angles, and the extent to which they had sub- 
jected the natives, exercised a great influence over those who were not 
subject to their power. The Picts, who were either subjected by them 
or in close alliance with them, were more immediately under their 
influence, and seem to a great extent to have apostatized from the 
Christianity introduced among them by S. Ninian, and a great part of 
the British population in the south fell back upon a half paganism, 
fostered by their bards, who recalled the old traditions of the race 
before they had been Christianized under the Roman dominion. 
There was thus a Christian and what may be called a pagan party. 
The so-called Romans mainly belonged to the former, and Riderchen 
or Rhydderch was at their head. The latter embraced the native 
Britons, whose leaders traced their descent from Coil Hen, or the Aged, 

and their head was Gwendolew. 

" These dissensions now broke into open rupture, and a great battle 
is recorded to have taken place between them in the year 573, which 
was to decide who was to have the mastery. It was termed the battle 
of Ardderyd, 1 and the scene of it was at Arthuret, situated on a raised 
platform on the west side of the river Esk, about eight miles north 
of Carlisle. . . Here this great battle was fought, the centre of a 
group of Welsh traditions." 

It resulted in the defeat of the Pagan party, the death on the field 

1 The correct form is Arderydd. 

238 JLives of the British Saints 

of Gwenddoleu, and the establishment of Rhydderch Hael as king 
over the Cumbrian Britons. 

No sooner was Rhydderch successful, than he resolved on the recall of 
Kentigern. He had been baptized in Ireland, and was a devout Christian . 
Finding Christianity almost trampled out in his dominions.he despatched 
messengers to Gwynedd to summon Kentigern to resume his work 
among the Cumbrian Britons. The saint would willingly have re- 
mained at Llanelwy, but he felt that duty called him north. Accord- 
ingly, after having appointed S. Asaph to succeed him as abbot and 
bishop, accompanied by 665 monks and clerics, he departed, leaving 
the church by the north door, which was ever afterwards kept shut, 
save on the feast of S. Asaph, May i. 

Rhydderch submitted his entire kingdom to Kentigern, to be its 
spiritual head. 1 

Kentigern assembled the people for a great conference at Hoddam 
in Dumfriesshire, near the Annan river, and the church of S. Mungo, 
near by, commemorates his work there. There was a mound, probably 
a tumulus, which the saint ascended, and whence he was able to address 
the people so as to be heard of all. In after times it was fabled that 
the earth had miraculously risen under his feet to form this bell-shaped 
mound. A similar story was told of S. David at Llanddewi Brefi. 

As Joscelyn went about picking up local traditions, and was not 
particularly scrupulous as to whether they were true or not, he may 
have gathered this story from some old women at Hoddam. 

Although it was known that the King Rhydderch favoured Kenti- 
gern, there was undoubtedly a strongly opposed faction, which clung 
to old usages and beliefs. 

One of the superstitions most strongly resisted by Kentigern was 
the disfiguring of the face and body, in honour of the heathen gods, 
with staining, probably with woad. As late as 785 it fell under 
ecclesiastical censure at the Synod of Calcjlfrth, and there are allusions 
to it in the Lives of the Irish saints as symbofs or badges of demoniacal 
homage, in contradistinction to the tonsure, that marked those who 
became servants of the living God. 

When Kentigern preached, he routed these dyed and disfigured 
adherents of paganism. Joscelyn, not understanding the practice 
or its significance, has given a fanciful colour to the transaction : " Quo 

1 " Rex Rederch dominium et 'principatum super universum regnum obtulit 
Kentigerno." His diocese must have extended from the Clyde to the Mersey. 
The " Triads of Arthur and his Warriors " in Peniarth MS. 45 (thirteenth 
century) say that Cyndeyrn Garthwys was chief bishop of the third " Throne- 
Tribe of the Island of Britain," at " Pen Rionyd in the North " in Strathclyde. 

S. Cyndeyrn (Kentigern] 2 39 

dicto ingens larvatorum multitude statura et visu horribilis a cetu 
illo exiens omnibus videntibus aufugit." Joscelyn thought they 
must be demons, yet the word larvati is contrary to the idea. 1 

After a thorough cleansing of his own diocese, Kentigern proceeded 
into Galway among the Picts. He erected churches and placed clerics 
in various parts of Alba, and even despatched some of his disciples 
to the Orkneys, to Norway, and to Iceland. 

Whilst at Glasgow an event took place which has left its mark on 
the arms of the city. 

The queen, whose name was Langueth, having a young lover, gave 
him a ring, which had been a present of her husband. Rhydderch 
observed this on the man's finger as the latter lay asleep, and drawing 
it off, cast it into the Clyde, and then demanded the ring of his wife. 
In her difficulty she had recourse to S. Kentigern, who prayed, and, 
lo, a salmon was caught, that had the ring in its belly. The story of 
the fish and ring is one of those hack incidents that come into many 
folk-tales and legends of saints, and there is, of course, no truth 
whatever in it. 

Kentigern now resolved on a visit to Columcille in Hy. Attended 
by his disciples, he proceeded to meet that remarkable man, chanting 
psalms. In like manner Columba marshalled his monks, and they 
met, embraced, and had long conferences together. Before parting 
they exchanged their pastoral staves. Kentigern 's, as given to- 
him by Columba, covered with gold and jewels, was still preserved 
in Ripon Cathedral in the beginning of the fifteenth century. In the 
tenth century, under the name Cathbhuaidh ( = Battle victory), it 
was carried as a standard in going to battle. 2 

When Kentigern had reached an extreme old age, he became so- 
feeble that his chin had to be sustained by a bandage. Feeling that 
his end was approaching, he fortified himself with extreme unction, 
and the life-giving sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, and 
summoning his disciples to him, gave them his final exhortation, 
and blessed them severally as they bent before him, raising his hand, 
with extreme difficulty. Then he ordered a hot bath to be prepared 
for him ; when he was put in it he expired, as he signed himself with 
the cross. 

A strange story told by Joscelyn is that before his death some of 
his disciples prayed to be allowed to accompany him to Paradise. 
He replied that those who should step into the bath after him would 

1 See Todd and Herbert, Irish Nennius, pp. lix-lx. 

2 Irish Annals quoted in Reeves' ed. of Adamnan's Life of S. Columba, p. 33 3. 

24 Lives of the British Saints 

follow him to heavenly places, and actually such as did this died 
immediately. 1 

He died on a Sunday in the year 603 according to some, 612 accord- 
ing to the Annales Cambrics. His day is January 13, and Sunday 
fell on that day in the years 603 and 614, on one of which he probably 
died. The first is to be preferred. He was buried where the cathedral 
of Glasgow now stands. 

In Scotland dedications to him are under his name of Mungo. List 
in Forbes' Kalendar of Scottish Saints. 

In art he is represented with fish and ring. 

J. W. Wolf has dealt with the mythological elements in the Life, 
Zeitschrifl f. Deutsche Mythologie, Gottingen (i), 1883, pp. 216-226. 


THIS Saint, to give his full pedigree, was the son of S. Cyngar ab 
Garthog ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig. 2 He was the brother of 
S. Gwynlleu. The Progenies Keredic (early thirteenth century), 
however, does not give Garthog as a son of Ceredig. To him, rather 
than to S. Kentigern, is dedicated the church of Llangyndeyrn, Car- 
marthenshire. His festival does not occur in any of the mediaeval 
calendars, but Browne Willis and Rice Rees give it as July 25, on which 
day a fair was held (Old Style) at Llangyndeyrn, and is still held on 
August 5 and 6. 

One of the late and often faked documents printed in the lolo MSS. 3 
makes the patron of this church to be Cyndeyrn, son of Gwrtheyrn 
Gwrtheneu, or Vortigern, and adds that he lies buried here. It gives 
him also a brother, S. Eurdeyrn, as patron of Llanedeyrn, in Cibwyr. 
According to the pedigree, he was father of Rhuddfedel Frych , the 
great-grandfather of Cadell Deyrnllwg, King of Powys. This so-called 
saint occurs in Geoffrey's Brut 4 as one of the three sons of Gwrtheyrn 
the other two being Gwrthefyr and Pasgen and in a battle which 

1 Similar stories of voluntary deaths occur with uncomfortable frequency in 
the Lives of the Celtic, especially the Irish, saints. It would almost seem that 
self-sacrifice was carried on among them to the last extremity, though Reeves, in 
his 5. Columba, repudiates the idea. 

2 Hafod MS. 16 ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 265 ; lolo MSS., pp. no, 125 ; 
Myv. Arch., p. 421 (here as son of Arthog ab Ceredig, and brother of Cyngar). 
Cyndeyrn was not a common name. A " Kyndeern wledic " recurs in the 
pedigrees in Jesus College MS. 20. 

3 P. 129. 4 Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 136-7. 

-A ^ *- w^j/v/^ L/ ( 


S. Cynfarch ab Meirchion 241 

took place at " Rhyt Epiffort " between him and Horsa, brother ^ 
Hengist, the one is said to have slain the other. 

In a Demetian pedigree, as given in the Hanesyn Hen (Cardiff MS. 
25), occurs a Cyndeyrn the Blessed: " Tryffin ap Ewein Vreisg ap 
Kyndeyrn (al. Cyndwr) Vendigeit ap Ewein ap Kyngar ap Ewein . . . 
ap Dofet ap Ebynt." 

S. CYNFAB, Confessor 

REES, in his Welsh Saints, 1 gives Cynfab as patron of Capel Cynfab, 
an extinct chapel under Llanfair-ar-y-Bryn, Carmarthenshire, with 
festival on November 15. Nothing more seems to be known of him. 

Cynfab means a first-born son. 

S. CYNFALL, Martyr 

THIS saint is only known to us through the Book of Llan Ddv. 
Among the seven churches granted by Britcon Hail to Llandaff in 
the time of Bishop Grecielis is mentioned Merthir Cynfall, otherwise 
called Lann Cinfall and Ecclesia Cinfall. 2 It is to-day the place called 
Llangynvil, on the Monnow, near Monmouth. Cirn Cinfall (? the 
Buckholt) occurs among the boundary names in the grant. 


CYNFARCH GUL was the son of Meirchion, of the race of Coel Godebog, 
and the husband of S. Nyfain, daughter of Brychan, by whom he was 
the father of the celebrated Urien Rheged, Lleuddun Luyddog, and 
Efrddyl. He was a Brythonic northern chieftain, and ancestor of 
the tribe of Cynferchyn, one of the three great tribes of the North. 
He occurs in Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd, a document which the compilers 
of the late Achau'r Saint in the lolo MSS. took hold of and shame- 
lessly appropriated ; and thus Cynfarch, as well as the rest of the 

1 Pp. 307, 330. The chapel is called " Llangenvab " in the inventories of 
Church goods taken by the Commissioners in 1552-3. 

2 Pp. 171, 173, 264. It seems to be the Lann cinuil on p. 275. 


2^.2 Lives of the British Saints 

warriors of the North, has, though somewhat late, come to be regarded 
as a Welsh saint. 

The entry in the lolo MSS. 1 states that he " founded a church in 
Maelor, called Llangynfarch, which was destroyed by the pagan 
Saxons at the time of the battle of Bangor Orchard " (613). The 
church evidently meant is that of Hope, in Flintshire, but the parish 
was formerly called in Welsh Llangyngar and Plwyf Cyngar not 
Cynfarch and the wake fell on November n (correctly the yth), 
the festival of S. Cyngar, according to Edward Lhuyd. 

One of the triplets known as the " Sayings of the Wise " runs : 2 

Hast thou heard the saying of Cynfarch, 
The active and intrepid warrior ? 
" Whoso respects not thee, respect thou not him." 
(Y neb na'th barcho na pharch.) 

There is, however, a church in Denbighshire which was formerly 
dedicated to a S. Cynfarch, but became afterwards, in Norman times, 
dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We mean the church of Llan- 
fair Dyffryn Clwyd; where there was at one time a figure of " Sanctus 
Kynvarch " in one of the windows. 3 We have here, as in many 
other cases, an instance of an obscure Welsh saint having to give way 
to the favourite saint of Latin Christianity. 

The festival of S. Cynfarch, September 8, occurs in the calendars in 
the lolo MSS. and the Prymers of 1618 and 1633. The day, which 
is also the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may have been entered 
as his festival from its being the Llanfair wake-day. 

It is clear that there was a Welsh saint belonging to North Wales 
and another to South Wales bearing the totemistic name of Cynfarch. 

S. CYNFARCH of Chepstow, Confessor 

THE little that is known of this Gwentian Saint we glean from the 
Book of Llan Ddv. 4 - He was a disciple of S. Dyfrig at Hentland on 
the Wye, and gave name to Llangynfarch, which is mentioned in 
one document therein as " Ecclesia Cynmarchi discipuli Dubricii 
Sancti." Its name is perpetuated to-day in that of S. Kinmark, near 
Chepstow. The present town of Chepstow is within the boundaries 
of the old parish of Llangynfarch. He is mentioned by Spenser in 
the Faery Queen? who gives to him a fanciful pedigree. 

1 P. 127. 

a P. 252. In the older " Stanzas of the Hearing " in Myv. Arch., p. 128, it 
varies considerably. 3 Myv. Arch., p. 422. 

4 Pp. 80, 165. ' s II, x, 24. 


S. Cynfelyn ab Bleiddud 243 

S. CYNFARWY, Confessor 

THIS Saint's name occurs only in the alphabetical Bonedd (so-called), 
compiled by Lewis Morris, wherein he is given as son of " Awy ab 
Llehenog, Lord of Cornwall," x Bftt of whom nothing is known. He 
is the patron of Llechgynf arwy, called also Llangynf arwy, z in Anglesey. 
In a field adjoining the churchyard there once stood an upright stone, 
over nine feet high, popularly called Maen Llechgynfarwy, which 
was supposed to commemorate him. It was removed during last 

His festival day, which occurs in November, is variously given. 
Browne Willis in his Survey of Bangor (1721), Angharad Llwyd 
in her History of Anglesey (1833), an( i others, give it as the 7th ; the 
calendars in the lolo MSS. and the Prymers of 1618 and 1633 give 
the 8th ; that in Peniarth MS. 187 the loth ; and that in Peniarth MS. 
219 the nth. 

The name Cynfarwy or Cynwarwy occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv 
as Cinguarui, Conguami, and Conguare, and these forms appear as 
the names of clerical witnesses to as many as a dozen grants to the 
church of Llandaff during the time of Bishops Dubricius, Teilo, Oudo- 
ceus, Berthwyn, and Elgistil. 


THIS Saint's pedigree in full runs thus : Cynfelyn ab Bleiddud ab 
Meirion ab Tybiawn ab Cunedda Wledig. 3 He was brother to S. 
Cynydyn, and, according to the lolo MSS., a saint or monk of Bangor 

To him is dedicated the church of Llangynfelyn in North Cardigan- 
shire, and he is believed to have lived as a hermit on Ynys Cynfelyn, 
on which the church now stands. 4 He is said to have been the founder 
of another church, in the parish of Welshpool, but whether represented 
by the present parish church (B.V.M.) we are not told. The extinct 
chapel of Dolgynfelyn, under Manafon, in the same neighbourhood, 
was not named after him. 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 422. 

z Dr. J. Gwenogvryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 912. With the 
parish-name compare that of Llechylched, also in Anglesey. 

3 Peniarth MSS. 12, 16 and 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., p. 422 ; lolo 
MSS., pp. 102, no, 125, etc. 

* Nicholas, County Families of Wales, 1872, i, p. 199. 

244 Lives of the British Saints 

His festival does not occur in any of the Welsh calendars, but 
Browne Willis l gives it as All Saints' Day. In the " Stanzas of 
the Months," usually attributed to Aneurin, but many centuries too 
late to be by him, occurs the couplet : 

Truly says Cynfelyn, 

" A man's best candle is reason." 2 

Cynfelyn was formerly a somewhat common name, and appears 
earliest as Cunobelinos. It is Shakespeare's Cymbeline, 

Between Aberystwyth and Borth lies a reef or causeway, known 
as Sarn Cynfelyn, running some seven miles out to sea, and popularly 
believed to be the remains of a road over the large tract of land known 
to Welsh tradition as Cantre'r Gwaelod submerged in the sixth century. 
There are several of these so-called " sarns " on the west coast, but 
they are now believed to be natural formations. This one may or 
may not have been called after S. Cynfelyn, who was most probably 
a native of Cardiganshire. 


CYNFELYN DRWSGL (the Clumsy) was a son of Cynwyd Cynwydion, 
of the race of Coel Godebog, and brother of Clydno Eiddyn, Cynan 
Genhir, and Cadrod Calchfynydd. He was one of the " Men of the 
North," a warrior pure and simple, but has been appropriated by the 
compilers of the late Achau'r Saint in the lolo MSS. According to 
them he and his brothers were disciples of Cadoc at Llancarfan. 3 

He is mentioned in the Triads as one of the men who were carried 
" to see the funeral pile of Gwenddoleu's host at Arderydd " or Arthuret, 
and as having been one of the " Three Pillars of Battle " of the Isle 
of Britain. 4 He is here represented in his true character. 


AT least two saints of this name are known to us through the Book 
of Llan Ddv, where the name appears under the various forms Cinuur, 

1 Parochiale Anglicanum, 1733, p. 195. 2 Myv, Arch., p. 21, but cf. pp. 102, 361. 

3 Pp. 105, 128. 

* "Red Book Triads " in Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 301, 304. 

S. Cynfor 245 

Conuur, Cynmur, Cinmur, Congur, and Cyngur. The earlier one, as 
Congur and Cynmur, occurs in the Lives of SS. Dubricius and Teilo 
as a disciple of both saints in succession. 1 The other one we read of in 
the Life of S. Clydog, 2 as a hermit at Merthyr Clydog, now Clodock, in 
Herefordshire. " Two brothers, Lybiau (Llibio) and Guruann (Gwrfan), 
and their sister's son, Cinuur, came from the region of Penychen (in 
Central Glamorgan), leaving their country on account of a quarrel, 
and chose to lead a hermitical and solitary life " at Clodock, of which 
they became " the first inhabitants and cultivators after the martyrdom 
of Clydog." Here, "with the advice and assistance of the Bishop 
of Llandaff, they built an improved church," and they received a 
grant of land on both sides the Monnow from Pennbargaut, king of 

The first-named Saint had a foundation at Bishopston (S. Teilo), 
in Gower, known formerly by the Welsh as Llandeilo Ferwallt and 
Llanferwallt, from Mergualdus, its princeps, or abbot, in the time of 
Oudoceus. It is called in the Book of Llan Ddv Lann Conuur, Ecclesia 
Cyngur Trosgardi, and Cella Conguri (or Conuur). He probably 
founded it under the direction of his master, S. Teilo. In the time 
of Bishop Lybiau, 927-9, it was known as Monasterium Sancti Cinuuri, 
from which may be inferred its existence still as a monastery. 

The same name occurs also in the Book of Llan Ddv under the forms 
Conmor, Conrnur, Conuor, and Cinuor, but at least three distinct 
persons bore the name. An older form is the Cvnomori on the stone 
near Fowey, in Cornwall. 

It is very probable that after a saint of this name the church of 
Llangynwr or Llangunnor, 3 near Carmarthen, is called ; at any rate it 
cannot have been after Cynyr, as has been supposed. We have him 
also in Capel Cynnor, the name of a now extinct chapel in the hamlet 
of Pendryn, in the parish of Pembrey, in the same county. 

It is possible Cynfwr may have been one of those who migrated with 
Teilo to Armorica in 547 on account of the Yellow Plague, and that he 
may have left his traces there at S. Senoux in Ille et Vilaine. The 
name in 1427 was Cenneur, in 1513, Sennour. The church there is 
now transferred to the patronage of Abden and Sennen, whose relics 
were given to it in 1869. 4 The local tradition is that he was a native 
of Britain who fled to Armorica because of a plague. He is represented 
in the church as a hermit astride on a stag. 

1 Myv. Arch., 80, 115. 

2 Pp. 194-5. See also the index to the book under the various forms of the 
name. 3 On the chalice (1616) " Llangonor." 

4 De Corson, Pouilli de Rennes, s.n. S. Senou. 

24.6 Lives of the British Saints 

S. CYNFRAN, Confessor 

CYNFRAN was one of the reputed sons of Brychan. His name, 
however, does not appear in the Cognatio. In the late accounts he is 
esteemed a saint who had his church at Llysfaen (formerly called also 
Llangynfran 1 ), on the North Wales coast, which "was destroyed by 
the pagan Saxons." 2 His brother Cynbryd is patron of the adjoining 
parish of Llanddulas. 

His holy well, Ffynnon Gynfran, is at Llysfaen, a little below the 
church. Edward Lhuyd, in his so-called Itinerary, 1699, says that the 
people " offered into it to prevent disease among their cattle," 3 with 
the invocation, " Rhad Duw a Chynfran Lwyd ar y da ! " (" The 
blessing of God and Holy Cynfran be upon the cattle ! ") He adds 
that " their wake is the eleventh night of winter," i.e., of November. 
Bishop Maddox (1736-43) in his MS. Z in the Episcopal Library at 
S. Asaph gives the parish feast as "12 Nov., on w ch day & the 
Sunday following the Common People formerly offer'd here for their 
horned cattle. Another Montpellier." Browne Willis 4 gives against 
Llysfaen, " S. Cynfran, November u, though in some accounts said 
to be dedicated to All Saints." His festival does not occur in any of 
the Welsh calendars. 

S. Dubricius had a disciple named Cynfran at Hentland on the Wye. 5 
He, and clerics of the name, witnessed a number of grants to the church 
of Llandaff during the time of Dubricius, Teilo, Oudoceus, and Arguistil. 

We might here append to what has been said about Ffynnon Gynfran 
Lhuyd's entry under the parish of S. George, Abergele, as it is not far 
distant. "At St. George's Well they us d formerly to offer horses, 
and one to the parson." The account which the Rev. H. Ffoulkes, 
rector of the parish, supplied Lhuyd with later is, however, more 
detailed. " The Carnarvon and the people of Uwchmynydd, Denbigh- 
shire, offer in our Saints Well (St. George's) for their Horses, imagining 
St. George to be a patron of those Animals. ' Rhad Duw a St. Sior 
arnat ! ' ' (" The blessing of God and S. George be upon thee ! "). 
According to the Valor of 1535, " Oblaciones Sancto Georgio " here 
amounted to 265. 8^. annually. Under Llansantffraid Glan Conwy, 
also in the neighbourhood, he wrote " It was lately the custom to 
offer in this church to S. Ffraid (Brigid) for horned cattle and sheep." 

1 J. Gwenogvryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 913. 

2 lolo MSS., pp. in, 119, 140; Myv. Arch., p. 419. 

3 " Ihonyroffrymmanrhagclevydearygwartheg." See also Myv. Arch., p. 422. 

4 Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 363. 

5 Book of LlanDdv, p. 80. A brook named Cinbran is mentioned (p. 161) in 
the boundary of Llandeilo Talybont. With the name compare Morfran and 
othei Bran names. 

S. Cyngar ab Caw 247 

S. CYNFYW, Confessor 

THAT Gwynllyw Filwr had a son of the name of Cynfyw liable to 
be reduced to Cyfyw and Cynyw is clear ; but in the older pedigrees 
it appears under a variety of spellings, which are at first a little 
puzzling. In Peniarth MS. 16 it occurs as Kemmeu, in Hafod MS. 16 
as Cennen, in Peniarth MS. 12 as Cannan, and in Cardiff MS. 25 (p. 116) 
and Peniarth MS. 27 as Kymynyn. In Peniarth MS. 75, however, we 
have it as Kynvyw, and in Cardiff MS. 25 (p. 33) as Kynnyw. The 
Kemmeu of the thirteenth century Peniarth MS. 16 obviously stands 
for Kenmeu, which would be a very old form of the name ; and the late 
forms Cammab, Cammarch, and Cannen, given as names of sons of 
Gwynllyw, are really misreadings by transcribers of this entry. 

In the late pedigrees his name occurs as Cynfyw, Cynyw, Cyfyw, 
and Cinw, and he is said to have been a saint or monk at Llancarfan, 
where he was his brother Cadoc's cofedydd or registrar. 1 

He is, no doubt, the original patron of Llangyfyw or Llangifiw (but 
to-day generally spelt Llangeview), near Usk, now said to be dedicated 
to S. David. Ecclesia S. Ciuiu (Cyuiu), mentioned in the Book of 
Llan Ddv, is a church which was once at or near Llangadwaladr, now 
Bishton, near Newport, Mon. The church of Llangynyw (spelt also 
Llangynviw in the Red Book of S. Asaph 2 ), in Montgomeryshire, was in 
all probability originally dedicated to him ; but Browne Willis 3 gives 
All Saints as its dedication. 

His festival is not entered in any of the Welsh calendars. 

S. CYNGAN FOEL see next article 

S. CYNGAR AB CAW, Confessor 

IN the lolo MSS., at pp. 142-3, is mention made of a Cyngar son of 
Caw, but at p. 137 he is called Cyngan Foel. 

" On referring to the list of ' the children of Caw of Twrcelyn ' given 
in the Hanesyn Hen, of which we have two copies in the Cardiff MS., 
we find no Cyngar there, but a Bangar (pp. 13, 46) ; and there seems 
little doubt but that this rare name has been manufactured into Cyngar 
or Cyngan of the four lists referred to in the lolo MSS., in three of 
which there is no other name resembling Bangar, though in the fourth 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 109, 130; Myv. Arch., pp. 422-3. The name Conbiu or 
Conuiu, borne by a layman in the Book of Llan Ddv, is a distinct name. 

2 P. 54. 3 Survey of Bangor, p. 360. 

248 Lives of the British Saints 

he appears as Bangawr." l He is said to have been a saint of Cor 
Illtyd, at Llahtwit. 


IN the saintly pedigrees in the thirteenth century Peniarth MSS, 
16 and 45, this Saint's name only occurs as the father of S. Gwynlleu. 
In Hafod MS. 16 (circa 1400), however, he is entered as a saint, as well 
as the father of SS. Gwynlleu and Cyndeyrn (not Kentigern). So also 
as a saint in the later MSS. 2 He was the son of Garthog ab Ceredig 
ab Cunedda Wledig. In the lolo MSS. he has been confounded with 
S. Cyngar ab Geraint. He does not appear to have had in Wales any 
church dedicated to him, nor a festival day assigned him. 

It is possible that he is the patron saint of Landeda near Lannilis 
in Leon, Brittany, for there a S. Congard is culted as founder. This 
may be the more famous Cyngar ab Geraint, but it is more likely that 
it was the son of Garthog, for Landeda is in the midst of a number of 
settlements of the family of Cunedda. S. Tyrnog founded Landerneau 
and Plabennec ; S. Carannog, his brother, was at Tregarantec and 
Carantec ; Dogfael, a cousin, has left his impress in the adjoining 
diocese of Treguier ; S. Tyssul is probably the saint culted at Crozon ; 
S. David has a parish adjoining Landerneau, and S. Non was buried at 

Landeda is on the tongue of land between the Aberfrach and the 
Aberbenoit, looking out on the ocean, which here unceasingly rages 
and foams against the granite cliffs. 

In the church is a statue representing the patron mitred and with 
pastoral staff, giving benediction. 

S. CYNGAR (CUNGAR) AB GERAINT, Abbot, Confessor 

CYNGAR, also called Docwin and Dochau, was the brother of lestyn, 
Selyf, awr and Cado or Cador, Duke of Cornwall. He was the son 

1 Mr. Egerton Phillimore, " Notes on Place-names in English Maelor," in 
Bye-Gones, 1889-90, p. 535. Cyngar occurs also in the lists on pp. 109, 117. 

2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 265 ; Myv. Arch., p. 421 ; lolo MSS., pp. 104, 
125. His father's name is sometimes wrongly spelt Arthog and Arthwg. 

S. Cyngar ab Geraint 249 

of the heroic Geraint, who fell at Llongborth, and uncle of S. Cybi 
an3 of ~S: CoHstantine. 1 His mother was Gwyar, daughter of 
Amlawdd Wledig. 

The Life of S. Cyngar, in Latin Cungarus, is by John of Tynemouth, 
probably, though it is not in the Cottonian Collection, Tiberius E. i. 
It is, however, printed in Capgrave 's Nova Legenda Anglic. It is 
an unsatisfactory document, based on no genuine documents, be- 
traying at every point the work of a hagiographer making bricks 
without straw. In place of historic facts it is stuffed with pious 

commonplaces. Further information is obtained from the Life of 
his nephew, S. Cybi. The Life, as given by Capgrave, states that 
Cungarus was the son of an " Emperor of Constantinople," and of ^ 
his wife Luciria. The name of the emperor is judiciously kept back. 
Loving the things of God rather than worldly pomp, Cungar ran away 
from home and formed for himself a hermitage by the shores of 
the Tyrrhenian Sea, but when his father sent after him he took ship, 
crossed to Italy, then passed the Alps into Gaul, and from Gaul migrated 
to Britain . He settled in that part of Britain ' ' quae vocatur Somersete . ' ' 
Finding a suitable spot surrounded by water and rushes, he settled 
there, " postea suo vocabulo Cungresbirianominatum." Cungar, as he 
was called by the English, was known to the Britons as Doccuinus. 2 

He was led, in the way so common to Celtic Saints, to fix on the 
site of a monastery by finding the lair of a wild boar. It was his wont 
every morning to stand in cold water till he had recited the Lord's 
Prayer thrice. By diligent culture and drainage, he succeeded in 
reclaiming the land and converting it into pasture fields. He planted 
his yew staff in the cemetery he had formed at the outstart, and this 
grew and became a memorable tree. 

Ina, king of the English, gave to Cungar as much land as he desired. 
But no Saxon king dared to visit Congresbury, as it was held that 
such a visit entailed sickness and speedy death ; 3 a curious instance 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 421 ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 269; lolo MSS., pp. 116, 
136. In the Abbatia (and Abbas) Docunni of the Book of Llan Ddv we seem to 
have the Goidelic for an early form of Cyngar, viz. Cuno-caros, from which would 
be formed To-chun or Do-chun (Rhys, Celtic Folklore, p. 163). The forms 
Docguinni and Dochou occur in the same MS. In the Life of S. Cadoc he is called 
Docguinnus, Doguuinnus, and Dochu (Cambro-British Saints, pp. 48, 50). See 
also Birch, Margam Abbey, London, 1897, pp. 2, 3. Browne Willis (Llandaff, 
1719, append., p. 2) gives Llandough as dedicated to a S. " Tocho," on May i. 
Cynghar is Welsh for the burdock. 

2 " Cungarus apud Angligenas vocabitur, Doccuinus, quasi Doctor, apud 
Britannigenas vocabatur." Capgrave, ed. 1901, p. 249. 

3 " Si enim contingeret casu, ut reges aut viderent aut visitarent a beato 
Cungaro incultum, aut graviter et continuo inciperent infirmari, aut viso loco 
non haberent longius spacium vivendi." Ibid., p. 250. 

250 Lives of the British Saints 

of taboo. Great numbers flocked to Cungar from all quarters and 
the monastery became a flourishing centre. Desiring privacy, Cungar 
deserted the place, crossed the Severn into Glamorgan, and landed 
" in portu Camensi." l He ascended a steep mountain hard by, and 
finding a clear fountain there, established himself and at once con- 
structed a cemetery, always the first thing thought of by a Celtic 
founder. However, on the following night he dreamed that an angel 
bade him remove elsewhere, so he ascended another mountain at no 
great distance, and there constructed church and cemetery. 

The cattleherd of the King of Morganwg finding him there, told his 
master that a hermit had settled on his land without leave, and the 
king, Paul, blinded by rage, went to the spot and rated him soundly 
and ordered him to leave. However, Cungar succeeded in assuaging 
his wrath, and Paul granted him the land he needed. Paul's successor 
Peibio tried to wrench it away again, but was deterred by threats of 
divine vengeance. 

The fable of Cungar having been son of " an Emperor of Constanti- 
nople " springs from the writer of the legend having heard of his descent 
from Constantine the Blessed, who was actually his great-grandfather, 
and he mistook this Cornish Constantine for Constantine the Great, 
but was puzzled as to which of the Emperors was his father, as the 
name of Solomon did not occur in any such list, whereupon he wisely 
refrained from naming his father. 

The date of the fall of Geraint is thought to have been about 522, 
consequently the period of his grandson would be about 590. A gross 
anachronism has been committed by the author of the Life in bringing 
him into relation with Ina, King of the West Saxons, and not of the 
Angles (688-728). 

What drove Cyngar from Somersetshire was probably the gathering 
strength of the Saxons in that district after the battle of Deorham 
in 577. Congresbury is on the Yeo, with extensive^marshes stretching 
to the west to the Bristol Channel, and completely open to attack 
from the side of Bath, which had fallen into the hands of the Saxons 
in the same year. This would be the true explanation of Cyngar 
flying to Morganwg, and not a sudden desire for solitude, as represented 
by the biographer. As a rule we may almost invariably be sure that 
the motive attributed to a Saint when he deserts his post is not that 
which actuated him in reality. 

The site on which he settled in Morganwg is said to have been 
Llandaff, formerly Llangenys, but this is difficult to reconcile with other 
accounts. It is more probably Llandough-juxta-Cardiff, variously 
1 Capgrave, ed. 1901, p. 251. 


S. Cyngar ab Geraint 


called " Bangqr^Cyngar " and " Bangor Dochau," in the Coy church 
MS. printed in the lolo MSB., where we read (p. 114), " Bangor Gyngar 
was made by Cyngar ab Geraint ab Erbin, and was destroyed by the 
pagan English, and afterwards was made anew by S. Dochau of the 
Cor of Illtyd, and called Bangor Dochau." Here the same Saint 
has been made into two, on account of his double name. 

Another entry in the same MS. (p. 104) says that a Cor, now called 
Llangenys, was founded in Morganwg by Cyngar ab Arthwg (for | 
Garthog) ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig ; but this again is a mistake. 

In the Truman MS. (p. 116) we are told that " Cyngar ab Geraint 
ab Erbin, a Saint of the Cor of Gannon made a Cor at Llangenys 
which is called Llan Doche Fawr, and was destroyed by the pagan 
English, and S. Doche made a Cor in its place which was called Bangor 

The lolo MSS. vary considerably in the notices they contain of 
Docheu or Dochau. They state that he came over to Britain with 
Ffagan, in the time of Lucius (p. 101) ; with Dyfan (p. 220) ; with 
Garmon (p. 101) ; and with Cadfan (p. 103) ; but the compilers con- 
founded him with Dochdwy, whose name is also spelt Dochwy. 1 
The statement that he refounded Bangor Cyngar places him later 
than Cyngar ab Geraint. 

In the Book of Llan Z)ai>lEe abbot of Docunni, that is, of Llandough, 
is mentioned as one of the three chief abbots of the diocese of Llandaff . 

In the story of S. Cyngar in Capgrave, the King Paul is Paul Penychen, 
brother of Gwynllyw Filwr, who appears also as a hot-tempered rough 
man in the Life of S. Cadoc. 

Peibio occurs in, the Book of Llan Ddv, but as king of Erging, and -JL 
certainly at an earlier date than Paul Penychen. 2 

Cyngar next comes under our notice in the Life of S. Cybi, as an 
old man. Cybi was his nephew. When Cybi was obliged to leave 
the south of Wales, he went to Ireland and took his uncle with him. 3 

Cyngar was then so aged that he was unable to eat solid food, and 
Cybi bought a cow for him, when he settled with S. Enda in Aran, 
that his uncle might have milk for his food. 4 

This occasioned a quarrel with one of the clerics on Aran, as has 
already been related in the account of S. Cybi. This Saint, taking 
his uncle with him, left Ireland and crossed into Carnarvon, and 

1 On p. 103 he is also confounded with Oudoceus. 

2 He was son of Erb, and father of Efrddyl, mother of S. Dyfrig. 

3 " Consobrinus autem ejus Kengar erat senex." Cambro-British Saints, 
p. 184. 

4 " Cui Sanctus Kepius emit vaccam cum vitulo suo, quialium cibum propter 
senectutem suam manducare non poterat." Ibid. 



2 $2 Lives of the British Saints 




settled for a while in the promontory of Lleyn, 1 but afterwards moved 
into Anglesey, where he founded a " Bangor " at Caer Gybi. 

In Anglesey Cyngar is esteemed a founder, at Llangefni, 2 but at 
his advanced age he cannot have done more than settle into a cell. 

He does not seem to have remained long there. Whether he had 
to leave owing to the unpleasantness caused by the publication of 
the letter of Gildas, his nephew, with its attack on Maelgwn, or whether 
it was due to mere restlessness, we do not know, but he is said to have 
started on pilgrimage for Jerusalem. According to the Vita he died 
at Jerusalem, and the body was brought back to Congresbury. But 
the Breton tradition, that he died at S. Congard, in Morbihan, on 
his way to Jerusalem, is more likely to be true. 

Cyngar is patron of the parish of Hope, in Flintshire, which was 
formerly called in Welsh Llangyngar and .Plwyf Cyngar. Edward 
Lluyd in his Itinerary, 1699, wrote under the parish " Their Wakes are 
on Gwyl Gyngar, viz. the Sunday after the nth of November " (correctly 
the 7th) ; and he adds, " Ffynnon Gyngar [is] within a field of y e 
Church." Owing, no doubt, to a similarity of names, the patron of 
this parish is often said to be a S. Cynfarch. (The lolo MSS. 3 state 
that Cynfarch ab Meirchion Gul " founded a church in Maelor, called 
Llangynfarch, which was destroyed by the pagan English at the time 
of the Battle of Perllan Bangor," in 613.! By it is intended the church 
of Hope, but its real patron is Cyngar ^ ; and there is no authority 
whatever for regarding Cynfarch ab Meirchion as a Welsh Saint. 

Under the name of Dochau he is patron of the two Glamorganshire 
Churches now called Llandough, but called formerly by the Welsh 
Llandocha Fawr (near Cardiff) and Llandocha Fach (near Cowbridge). 
The old name of the former appears from the lolo MSS. documents 
to have been Llangenys, a name which seems to be otherwise unknown. 
There is a S. Gennis on the north-east coast of CornwaU. 

The following occurs among the " Sayings of the Wise " : 5 

Hast thou heard the saying of S. Cyngar 
To those who derided him ? 
" Anger lasts longer than sorrow." 
(Hwy pery Hid na galar.) 

In 711 King Ina re-established Cyngar's Abbey in Somersetshire, 
but dedicated it to the Holy Trinity. 

A British see of Congresbury, transferred in 767 or later to Wells, 
by Daniel, the last British bishop, is mentioned on doubtful evidence. 

1 Ynys Gyngar, below Portmadoc, and not far from Llangybi, is named after 
him. 2 See Arch. Camb., 1849, pp. 261-3. 3 P. 127. 

4 Cyngar is given as its patron in two parish lists of the sixteenth century ; 
Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 915. fi lolo MSS., p. 252. 

S. Cyngar ab Geraint 253 

Cyngar is the patron of Badgworth, in Somersetshire. 
In Cornwall S. Cyngar or Doc win's only foundation was at S. Kewe. 
In Bishop Stafford's Register the name is Sanctus Doquinus (1400), 
but also Landeho and Lan-dehoc (1412). In Domesday it is Lan-ehoc. 
In Bishop Bronescombe's Register (1259) it is Landeho. In Bishop 
Grandisson's time it had become Lannowe. In Prynne's Records 
(iii, p. 718) the dedication is given as to Sancto Landoco. Nicolas 
Roscarjock^in his MS. Lives of >the Saints, gives some interesting 
traditions relative to S. Docwin's residence in S. Kewe parish. He 
was known there as S. Dawe, and the popular opinion was that he 
was a brother of S. Kewe. " He was a vertuous preist and eremit, 
and lived in an ermitage in the parish of S. Kewe, in a place where I 
remember there stood a chappell still bearing his name. And they 
holde by tradition there that he was brother of S. Kewe, who coming 
to his cell to visit him, he would not receive her until such times as 
he sawe a wild Boare miraculously obaye her. After which time 
hee conversed with her, who proved of such rare vertue and holiness 
as she was after her death reputed a Sainte, and the Church of the 
parish is dedicated to her. This S. Dawe is esteamed a Saint in Wales, 
where they kept a feast in his memorie the very same day which they 
were accustomed to doe in Cornwall, to witt, the I5th February. But 
they call him Dochotwyr or Dogotwy." 

The story as told at S. Kewe at the present day is that a great boar 
troubled the neighbourhood, and S. Kewe vowed to build a church 
if the beast were slain. Five neighbouring parishes united to hunt 
it, and it was brought to bay and killed. Docwin lived at Lanowe, 
a farm about a mile from S. Kewe Church. In the stained glass of 
the windows is a black beast, actually the arms of the Cavall family 
of Trehaverick, Argent, a_cal_f passant, sable (otherwise ^ules) . And 
this is supposed to represent the black boar. The story is curious 
as a faint reminiscence of the Hunting of the Twrch Trwyth. 

The festival of Cyngar is November 7, which occurs hTover a dozen 
Welsh Calendars from the late fifteenth century down. Browne 
Willis 1 gives that date as the Wake-day at Hope, but March 7 at 
Llangefni, evidently through a mistake in the month. The Parish 
feast at S. Kewe is on July 25. 

S. Cyngar had also a Chapel and Holy Well dedicated to him in 
Lanivet, where he was venerated as Ingunger, Saint Gungar or Gonger. 

At S. Congard, in Morbihan, the feast is on May 12. A curious 
feature there is that at the Pardon women get taken with a convulsive 
affection, and bark like dogs. 

1 Survey of Bangor, pp. 281, 359. 

254 Lives of the British Saints 

S. CYNGEN, Prince, Confessor 

CYNGEN, Prince of Powys, to which he succeeded on the death of 
his father Cadell, owes his title to Saintship entirely to two late 
documents printed in the lolo MSS. x " His church is in Shrewsbury. " 
" He gave property and land to Bangor Fawr in Maelor ; it was the 
foundation of the family of Cadell Deyrnllwg." 

The Cognatio de Brychan of Cott. Vesp. A. xiv gives him as the son 
of Kenwaur Cadcathuc and the husband of Tudglid, daughter of 
Brychan, by whom he was the father of Cadell, Brochwel Ysgythrog, 
leuaf, Mawn, and Sannan. 

The old line of the kings of Powys ended with Cyngen ab Cadell, 
who according to the Annales Cambria, died at Rome in 854, and the 
kingdom passed, through his sister, to Rhodri Ma wr, King of Gwynedd. 
Their family is described as of Cegidfa, that is, Guilsfield, near Welsh- 
pool, and the encampment there of Gaer Fawr was probably their 
chief seat. It was the last Cyngen who set up the Pillar of Eliseg at 
Valle Crucis to the memory of his great-grandfather Eliseg. 

The name Cyngen occurs as Cunocenni on the inscribed stone at 
Trallong, near Brecon ; in Old Welsh it is Concen and Cincen. 

S. CYNHAFAL, Confessor 

CYNHAFAL was the son of S. Elgud ab Cadfarch ab Caradog Freichfras. 
There is some uncertainty as to the correct form of his mother's name, 
but it seems to have been Tubrawst, "descended from the Tuthlwy- 
niaid." 2 

The only church dedicated to him is Llangynhafal, in the Vale of 
Clwyd. His Holy Well is in a field about a quarter of a mile from 
the church, close to Plas Dolben. It is a large bath, arched over, 
with steps going down into it, and is in a good, clean condition. It 
was formerly famous for the cure of warts, which was " partly done 
by pricking them with a pin, and throwing it into the well." 3 

1 Pp. 102, 120, 129. 

2 Myv. Arch., p. 421 ; lolo MSS., pp. 123, 145. " Tubrawst or tuthlwynaid " 
(Peniarth MS. 74). Cynhafal is an uncommon Welsh name. There was a 
Cynhafal ab Argad, who figures in the Gododin and the Triads. The name is an 
adjective, meaning similar, like. We have the second element in Guor-haual 
(Book of Llan Ddv), and the Breton Wiu-hamal. The folk-etymologist will have 
it that the name Llangynhafal stands for Llan can' afal, that is " The Church 
of the Hundred Apples," it being said that, at some remote period, the benefice 
was procured by a present of 100 apples to the bishop, in each of which was 
enclosed a golden guinea ! 3 Arch. Camb., 1846, p. 54. 

S. Cynhafal 255 

October 5, as his festival, occurs in most of the mediaeval Welsh 

There is a cywydd addressed to S. Cynhafal by Gruff ydd ab leuan 
ab Llywelyn Fychan, of Llannerch, a Denbighshire bard of the early 
sixteenth century, in which he attributes the death of Benlli Gawr 
to the miraculous power of the Saint. The substance of the poem 
is this. 1 

The bard was suffering from acute pains in his leg, and he prays 
for relief to Cynhafal, whose merits, he says, possessed the peculiar 
property of removing rheumatic affections. The Saint is reminded 
of his miracles in the flesh, how he tortured the " hoary giant," Benlli 
Gawr, till he became like a " frantic lion, " filling his body with agony 
and wild fire, which drove him to seek relief in the cooling waters of 
the Alun ; and how that river refused to allay his agony, and be- 
came dry three times, and the giant's bones were burnt upon its banks 
at Hesp Alun (the Dried-up Alun). He then refers to the efficacy 
of the Saint's well in the removal of various bodily ailments by drinking 
its water and by bathing in it ; and, lastly, implores him to cure his 
rheumatism, and finally 'admit him to Paradise. 

Moel Fenlli, which is called after Benlli Gawr, is near Llangynhafal. * 
It forms a high conical hill in the Clwydian range, and has on its 
summit a strong earthwork. The caer is fortified with a fosse and 
double agger on all sides, except the east, where there are two fossae, 
and the agger is quadrupled. Excavations made show that it has 
been occupied at different times and by different people, from the 
Stone Age. Near its centre there is a never-failing crystal spring. 2 

Nennius's story of this " wicked and tyrannical king " differs from 
that contained in the cywydd. 3 He states that S. Germanus came 
with his companions to the gate of his " city " (urbs, with no name 
or situation) desiring to convert him to Christianity. Benlli positively 
refused to grant him an audience, even if they remained there for a 
whole year. Thereupon " fire fell from heaven, and consumed the 
citadel during the night, and all the men that were with the tyrant ; 
they were never seen more." Now that Benlli had met his doom, 
Germanus made Cadell DeyrnLLwg, the king's swineherd, who had 
extended hospitality to the Saint and had become a convert, king of 
Powys in his place. Nennius thus makes Benlli king of Powys. 

1 Several copies of it occur in MSS. 

2 Cambrian Journal, 1854, pp. 209-220 ; W. Wynne Ffoulkes, Castra Clwyd- 
tana, London, 1850. There is a small holding midway up its ascent called 
Llys Fenlli. Ynys Enlli, Bardsey Island, is also in all probability called after 

3 San-Marte's ed. of Nennius, 32, 33. 

2 56 Lives of the British Saints 

According to the " Stanzas of the Graves," in the twelfth century 
Black Book of Carmarthen, 1 the grave of " Beli ab Benlli Gawr " is 
in "Maes Mawr," "on the mountain between lal and Ystrad Alun," 
where he fell in battle, and " two upright stones were placed one at 
each end of the grave." 2 

Sir John Rhys is disposed to regard Benlli Gawr as one of the 
dark divinities of the Celtic pantheon. 3 

Both legends attribute Benlli 's death to burning, but differ in the 
details. Nennius says that it took place in his citadel ; the mediaeval 
bard that it was on the banks of the Alun at a spot where the river 
is called Hesp Alun (in the parish of Cilcain) , that is, where it disappears 
into the limestone rock, which it. does thrice in its course. 

Germanus is connected with this neighbourhood. At Llanarmon 
in Yale is his church, and at Maes Garmon, near Mold, is the reputed 
scene of the Alleluia Victory. 

S. CYNHAIARN, Confessor 

CYNHAIARN, or Cynhaern, was a son of Hygarfael ab Cyndrwyn, of 
Caereinion in Powys, and brother of SS. Aelhaiarn and Llwchaiarn. 4 
See under S. AELHAIARN. He is the patron of Ynys Gynhaiarn, in 
the promontory of Lleyn, like Llanaelhaiarn, his brother's foundation. 
His festival is not known. 


CYNHEIDDON was one of the virgin daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog. 
She is mentioned thus in the Vespasian or earlier version of the Cognatio, 
" Keneython in y mynid cheuor in Kedweli." The entry affords a 
good instance of the manner in which Brychan 's children have been 
multiplied by the scribes, as well as of the process by which texts 

1 Ed. Dr. J. G. Evans, 1906, p. 69. 

2 Carnhuanawc, Hanes Cymru, Crickhowell, 1842, p. 35. 

3 Arthurian Legend, p. 354. 

4 Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45 ; Hafod MS. 16 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 421-2 ; Cambro- 
British Saints, p. 267 ; lolo MSS., p. 104. Haiarn (iron), in its different 
spellings, formed rather a common element in Brythonic personal names. See 
Rhys, Welsh Philology, pp. 418-9. 

S. Cynheiddon 257 

undergo corruption. In the Domitian or later version it has yielded 
two entries, (i) " Koneidon apud Kydwely in monte Kyfor," and 
(2) " Kenedlon apud mynyd Kymorth." We are much mistaken 
if in the second of these again we do not find the mountain-name 
supplying us with another daughter, the Cymorth of the still later 
lists. A scribe might easily misread Koneidon into Kenedlon. In 
the Jesus College MS. 20 (early fifteenth century) we have " Ryneidon 
ygkitweli ymynyd Kyuor " reading R for K. 

Mynydd Cyfor, in the commote of Cedweli or Kidwelly, is a hill 
four miles south-east of Carmarthen, and Cynheiddon 's name is still 
commemorated there in the hamlet of Capel Llangynheiddon, the 
chapel of which, on the hill, is now extinct. 1 It is in the parish of 

Cenedlon as a Saint on Mynydd Cymorth occurs in most of the late 
lists of Brychan's children, but we are nowhere told where the mountain 
was situated. 2 

Cymorth, also written Corth, is said to have been the wife of Brynach 
Wyddel, Brychan's periglor or confessor. Their son, Gerwyn, is 
none other than Berwyn, the son of Brychan, and their three daughters 
Mwynwen (Mwynen), Gwenan, and Gwenlliw, are also in one document 
said to have been daughters of Brychan. 3 See under S. CYMORTH. 

Cenedlon is said to have been patroness of Rockfield, near Mon- 
mouth 4 ; but it is a mistake for S. Kenelm. 5 

S. CYNHEIDDON, Confessor 

CYNHEIDDON, Cynheiddion, or Cynheiddan, was a son of the prince- 
saint Ynyr Gwent, by Madrun, daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid. 6 
He was the brother of SS. Ceidio and Tegiwg, and of Iddon, who 
succeeded his father. Nothing seems to be known of him. 

1 " The chaple of Llangenhython " in the parish of Llandefeilog, is mentioned 
in the inventories of church goods taken in 1552-3 ; Daniel-Tyssen and Evans, 
Carmarthen Charters, 1878, p. 31. It is given also in the late sixteenth century 
parish list in Peniarth MS. 147 ; Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, 
p. 918 ; cf. p. 831. 

2 Once it occurs as Mynydd y Cymmod (the Mount of Atonement ! ). lolo 
MSS., p. 120. 

3 lolo MSS., pp. 121, 140-1 ; Myv. Arch., p. 428. 

4 Cambro-British Saints, p. 607. 5 Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 344. 
* lolo MSS., pp. 129, 139, 144 ; Myv. Arch., 422. 


258 Lives of the British Saints 

S. CYNIDR, Bishop, Confessor 

IN both versions of the Cognatio de Brychan, S. Kenider de Glesbyri 
is given as the son of Kehingayr (Keyngair), or Ceingair, daughter of 
Brychan; but his father's name is not mentioned. 1 We are, however, 
given another account of his parentage. There is a note at the be- 
ginning of the MS. containing the earlier version (Cotton MS. Vesp. 
A . xi v) , in one of the hands in which the Vitce Sanctorum, etc . , are written , 
that has a large hole in the parchment, but the portion wanting can 
be restored from a copy made by Sir John Price, of Brecon, before it 
became damaged. It is at the end of the MS. containing the other 
Cognatio version (Cotton MS. Domitian i). This gives the pedigree 
of S. Eigion, whom it calls Egwen, and says that he and Cynidr, whom 
it calls Keniderus of Glesburia, were sons of Gwynllyw (Gunleuus) 
and Gwladys (Gladusa), and brothers of S. Cadoc. The passage shall 
be given under S. EIGION. 

The scene of Cynidr's labours was principally Brecknockshire, 
where there are several churches that were originally dedicated to him ; 
but his foundations have been re- dedicated to Our Lady all, with 
the exception of one to S. Peter. His most important was Glasbury, 
in the counties of Brecknock and Radnor, and it is here that he lies 
buried. Bernard de Newmarch granted the advowson of the living in 
1088 to the Monastery of S. Peter, Gloucester, 2 from whence the church 
derived its second dedication, S. Peter. The Wakes were until recent 
years observed on S. Peter's day. His holy well, Ffynnon Gynidr, 
is on the common above Glasbury. To him were also originally 
dedicated in the county of Brecknock, Llangynidr 3 (called also Eglwys 
lail, and Eglwys Fair a Chynidr), Aberyscir (called Plwyf Mair a 
Chynidr in Peniarth MS. 138), and Llanywern 4 (under Llanfihangel 
Talyllyn). The parish of Cantref (church now dedicated to the Virgin) 
is called " parochia S'ti Kenedri de Kantreff " in a document dated 
1514 (Harley Charter in, D. 3). Kenderchurch (now dedicated to the 
Virgin) in Herefordshire, is called in the Book of Llan Ddv 5 Lanncinitir, 
and in the Taxatio of 1291, 6 Eccl'ia Sci. Kenedr'. 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 429. A " Kenider Gell," the son of Cynon ab Ceredig, occurs 
in the Progenies Keredic, at the end of the Vespasian Cognatio, and a " Kynedyr 
Wyllt " is mentioned in Culhwch and Olwen. The Cynidr of "Kynydr ap Kyngar 
m. Garthaug " in Hanesyn Hen (Cardiff MS. 25), p. 112, is a misreading forCyn- 
deyrn. Glasbury is in Welsh Y Clas, or Clas ar Wy, from elds, a monastic com- 

2 See its Cartulary, Rolls Series, iii, p. 5, where Glasbury Church is called 
" Ecclesia Sancti Kenedri." 

3 Lewis in his Topog. Diet, of Wales, s.v. Llangynider, says Cynidr " lived in 
religious seclusion in Glamorgan, in the sixth century, and in commemoration 
of whom a festival was annually celebrated here, on the ist of August." 

4 In the parish list in Peniarth MS. 147 (circa 1566) it is called Llanywern 
Mair a Chynidr. 5 P. 277. 6 P. 160. 

S. Cynidr 259 

He had a hermitage on an island in the Wye at Winforton, in Hereford- 
shire. Of this Mrs. Dawson gives an interesting account in the Archao- 
logia Cambrensis for iSgS. 1 " A more ideal site for a hermitage than 
the isle of Winforton it would be difficult to imagine ; solitude and com- 
parative safety were secured to it by the waters of the Wye around it, 
while on the south it was overshadowed by the steep dark heights of 
Meerbach mountains, where may yet be seen a relic of the faith of 
a still earlier day, the huge cromlech known as Arthur's Stone. Though 
the river has altered its course so much that it now flows half a mile 
distant from the hermitage, its site may still almost claim the name 
of island, for a deep moat, crossed by a stone bridge, protects it on 
the north, and in time of flood it is altogether surrounded by water. 
The actual remains consist of an oblong mound, artificially raised 
some ten feet above the level of the soil, and approached by raised 
causeways on the south-west and north-west. Stones crop out here 
and there, and from the appearance of the ground it would seem as 
if the building had terminated in an apse at the east end." 

Winforton Church, now dedicated to S. Michael the Archangel, was 
probably dedicated originally to S. Cynidr. 

Cynidr is perhaps Keneder, the disciple of S. Cadoc, who is mentioned 
in "the Life of that Saint 2 as associated with Teilo, David, Dochu 
(or Cyngar) and Maidoc in a deputation to King Arthur. 

A certain Ligessauc or Llyngesog nicknamed the Longhand 
had killed three of Arthur's retainers, and then had fled for refuge 
to the sanctuary of S. Cadoc, with whom he remained in concealment 
for seven years, before Arthur discovered where he was. 

Then, highly incensed, the King ordered Cadoc to surrender the 
fugitive that he might undergo punishment. 

Now, a Saint had no right to grant sanctuary indefinitely. Properly 
speaking, the right of sanctuary was for a limited number of days, 
and it was his duty during these days to come to terms with the prose- 
cutor, and pay the mulct or fine for the crime committed. If he did 
not do this, then he must surrender the refugee. Cadoc had un- 
doubtedly behaved in an underhand way in this matter, and the King 
was very naturally and rightly offended. The Saint finding that he 
had got into trouble, and assured that it would bring on him discredit 
if he did not now secure the safety of Ligessauc, despatched his most 
trusty disciples to smooth the matter over with Arthur. 

They accordingly went to him, where he was holding a gorsedd, or 

1 Pp. 216-221. 

^_ambro-British Saints, pp. 48-50. A Cheneder occurs as clerical witness in 
the Cartulary appended to the Life. 

260 Lives of the British Saints 

assembly, on the Usk. But not venturing to put themselves in his 
power, they did not cross the river, but conducted the negotiation 
by shouting across. 

At length it was settled that Cadoc should pay the King a hundred 
cows as mulct for the men who had been slain. Cadoc had offered 
three cows per man, nine in all, but Arthur had scouted at the offer. 

The ultimatum of Arthur was accepted with reluctance, and when 
Cadoc sent the prescribed number, he had raked together the leanest 
and oldest he could find. The King peremptorily refused to receive 
them, and they had to be returned, and cows of a better quality sent. 

The next point of dispute was how were they to be delivered ? 
It was referred to judges, who decided that the cattle should be driven 
half-way over the ford by Cadoc's men, then they would be received 
by the King's men. 

Accordingly, Arthur sent Cai, his steward, into the mud of the 
Usk, together with the requisite number of men. But they arrived 
on their return, beplastered with ooze, rolling before them bundles 
of russet fern instead of cows. 

Astonished at this miracle, the King gave way, and allowed Cadoc 
rights of asylum to extend over seven years, seven months, and seven 
days. It is not difficult to see the truth through the dust of fiction. 
The biographer of S. Cadoc could not allow his hero to come off badly 
in a bargain, and he invented the miracle to disguise a somewhat 
sordid transaction. Cadoc was fined heavily, as he deserved, for he 
had behaved dishonourably. He paid the enormous fine imposed 
on him, reluctantly, yet in full ; and then Arthur generously granted 
him the extension of right of asylum, unless this also be an invention 
of the Llancarfan hagiographer. 

S. Cadoc certainly was in Cornwall, and he very probably took his 
cousin Cynidr with him, and Cynidr would not be at all reluctant to 
visit his kinsmen, thick as stars in the firmament, studded on the 
windy downs of North Cornwall. 

His festival is December 8. In the Calendar in Cott. Vesp. A. xiv 
is entered against that day " Sti. Kenedri, Ep.," and in that prefaced 
to Sir John Price's Welsh Prymer, 1546, " Gwyl Fair a Chynidr." 
It occurs also in the Prymers of 1618 and 1633. Rees is wrong 
in his inference that his festival is that of the Annunciation. 1 Nicolas 
Roscarrock gives as his day December 9. " S. Keneder of Glasbery 
or Glasberry, son of Reinwyr or Riengwar." 

Quoting the Life of S. Nectan, he says S. Eneder was one of Brychan's 
children and " hath a church in Cornwall." The feast there was held 
1 Welsh Saints, p. 241. 

S. Cynin 261 

on the first Wednesday in March. In his Calendar he says in Lent, 
but that was doubtless a slip. The feast is now held on the last Thurs- 
day in April. The church in Domesday is called Egloseunder. See 
under S. ENODER. 

S. CYNIN, Bishop, Confessor 

CYNIN belonged to the saintly clan of Brychan. In the two Cognatio 
versions, he is said to have been the son of Brychan's daughter Hunyd 
or Nunidis, wife of Tudwal Befr (the Fair or Blond), who was buried 
" under the rock of Meltheu." His name is entered in the earlier 
version as " Cunin cof (i. memorie)," so called, no doubt, from his 
possessing an exceptionally retentive memory. Jesus College MS. 
20 gives Brychan's daughter Goleuddydd as the wife of Tudwal 
Befr. It is but right .to say that in these early documents he is not 
mentioned as a Saint. 

In the various later documents printed in the Myvyrian Archaiology 1 
and the lolo MSS. 2 Cynin is said to have been son of Brychan ; but 
it is much more probable that he was a grandson. It is there added 
that he was a Saint of Dyfed, where was his church, and where also 
he was bishop. He is the patron of Llangynin or Llanginning, near 
S. dear's, Carmarthenshire. The dedication was generally given 
formerly as " Cynin a'i Weision " 3 (" Cynin and his servants ") 
probably, from analogy, " his tonsured servants," that is, his monks. 

In the early Welsh Triads and poems Cynin Cof appears rather 
in the role of a warrior than that of a Saint. He had a son named 
Dalldaf, and their steeds even their steeds' names are mentioned. 

In an ode to King Henry VII, the author supplicates " Cynin a'i 
Weision," in a long list of Welsh and other Saints, to grant the King 
long life. 4 It would appear from the poems of Lewis Glyn Cothi 
(fifteenth century) that he was in the habit of frequently invoking 
this Saint. In one passage he exclaims " myn Cynin ! " and in two 
others " myn delw Gynin ! " (" by Cynin's image or statue ! "). In an 
eulogy he flatters an esquire of the bodyguard of Henry VI with the 
remark that he regarded paying him a visit in January and February 

1 Pp. 419, 422; Peniarth MS. 178. z Pp. in, 119, 140. 

3 E.g. the lists of parishes in Peniarth MS. 147 (c. 1 566) and Myv. Arch., p. 746. 
" A'i Weision, neu a'i Veibion " (or his sons) of Myv. Arch., p. 422, and Peniarth 
MS. 178, probably embodies a misreading. * lolo MSS., p. 314. 

262 Lives of the British Saints 

like going on a pilgrimage to S. Cynin ; and he further invokes the 
protection of " Cynin a'i Weision " for his own native Caio. 1 Cynin's 
image was, no doubt, at Llangynin. 

In the neighbourhood, the name Cynin occurs in Castell Cynin, 
near Eglwys Cymmun ; Afon Cynin, flowing through Llangynin parish ; 
and in three farm -names (Blaen, Godre, and Cwm Cynin), in the parish 
of Newchurch, Carmarthenshire, where a stone inscribed " Cunegni '' 
was found, which is now at Traws Mawr. Another stone was dis- 
covered not long since in the churchyard at Eglwys Cymmun, with 
the inscription " Avitoria Filia (Inigina) Cunigni," 2 which was evidently 
set up by Irish speakers. The form for Cunigni in modern Welsh 
would be Cynin, and in Irish Coinin, which latter occurs in the Martyr- 
ology of Donegal (February 12) as the name of a bishop. The topo- 
graphy of this small area clearly shows that Cynin was a person of 
considerable importance ; and the Traws Mawr stone probably originally 
marked his grave. It has been surmised that Eglwys Cymmun, or 
more properly Eglwys Gymyn or Gymmun, 3 involves his name, but 
that cannot be. In a MS. in the British Museum, temp. Edward III, 
the church is called " Ecclesia de Sancto Cumano." 4 The church 
is now, like that of the neighbouring Llandawke, dedicated to S. 
Margaret Marios, but it received this dedication in the fourteenth 
century. See under S. CAEMEN. 

The festival of S. Cynin does not occur in any of the Welsh Calendars, 
but Nicolas Roscarrock gives November 24. The one fair held at 
Llangynin has on January 7, Old Style ; later, on the i8th. 

Conigc, which would be to-day Cynin or Cyning, was the name of 
an abbot of Llancarfan, who appears in three charters in the cartulary 
appended to the Life of S. Cadoc. 5 

The personal name Cynin is not unknown elsewhere in the place- 
names of South Wales, and also in Cornwall. We have it, for instance, 
in Bro Gynin, the birthplace of Dafydd ab Gwilym, near Aberystwyth ; 
and in Tre Gynin, in Llangathen parish, which latter turns up in 
Cornwall as Tregoning, of which there are several instances. 6 

1 Gwaith L. G. Cothi, Oxford, 1837, pp. 62, 121, 311, 453, 456. 

z Arch. Camb., 1889, p. 225. 

3 E.g., the old lists of parishes in Peniarth MS. 147 and Myv. Arch., p. 746. 
The initial letter should certainly be G. 

* Arch. Camb., 1907, p. 261. The local tradition connects the name with 
Cymmun (communion), and points out the " Pilgrim's Path, Stile and Door," 
whereby he came to Mass. A neighbouring farm is called Pare Cymmun. 

5 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 86-93. 

8 See Mr. Phillimore's note in Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, pp. 420-2. 

S. Cynllo 263 

S. CYNLLO, King, Confessor 

THERE is a little uncertainty as regards the parentage of this Saint. 
A gloss on the Bonedd in the thirteenth century Peniarth MS. 16 makes 
him the brother of S. Teilo, who was the son of Ensych or Usyllt ab 
Hydwn Dwn ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig, by Gwenhaf, daughter 
of Llifonwy. The Bonedds in the late fifteenth century Peniarth MS. 
27, pt. ii, and in Hanesyn Hen (Cardiff MS. 25), p. 112, also 
couple Teilo and Cynllo together as sons of Ensych. The later 
genealogies 1 make him the son of Mar or Mor ab Ceneu ab Coel 
Godebog. In the Demetian Calendar (S) his name is entered as 
Cynllo Frenin, but without a festival day. 

His dedications connect him with North Radnorshire and Cardigan- 

In the former county are dedicated to him Nantmel, Llangynllo, and 
Llanbister. Near the last church is a celebrated spring called Pistyll 
Cynllo. The church of Rhayader, now dedicated to S. Clement, seems 
to have been also originally dedicated to him. In Cardiganshire there 
are two churches under his invocation, Llangynllo and Llangoedmor. 
In the topography of the former parish we have Afon, Cwm, Allt, 
and Chwarel Cynllo. In the latter parish are several memorials 
of him, particularly near Treforgan. There is his holy well, Ffynnon 
Gynllo, to which great healing properties were formerly ascribed, 
especially in rheumatic cases. There, too, is his cave, wherein tradition 
says he used to pray ; also Cerwyni Cynllo, his brewing-tubs, being 
cavities worn in the rocky bed of the river ; Ol traed march Cynllo, 
Ihe print of his horse's hoofs in the rock ; and Ol gliniau Cynllo, the 
marks of his knees when at his devotions. 2 There is also an extensive 
intrenchment in the parish called Cynllo Faes, as well as a farmhouse, 
Melin Cynllo. 

His festival, July 17, occurs in the Calendars in Jesus College MS. 
cxli = 6 (fifteenth century), lolo MSS., Peniarth MSS. 187 and 219, the 
Prymers of 1618 and 1633, Allwydd Paradwys, and by Nicolas Roscar- 
rock. The i6th is given in a number of Welsh Almanacks of the eight- 
eenth century, and the i4th in Sir John Prys's Prymer, 1546. Hafod 
MS. 8 (late sixteenth century) gives " Gwyl Ginllo " against August 
8. The wakes at Llangoedmor were held near the Meini Cyfrifol. 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 422 ; lolo MSS., p. 126. At the former reference he is 
described as a saint " in Rhaiadr Gwy." Lewis Glyn Cothi (infra) also makes 
him patron of Rhayader. The Ho in Cynllo as well asCatlo is of the same origin 
as the Latin lupus (Rhys, Welsh Philology, p. 390). 

2 Lewis Glyn Cothi, Poetical Works, 1837, p. 326 ; Meyrick, Hist, of Cardigan- 
shire, 1808, p. 118 ; Evan Davies, Hanes Plwyf Llangynllo, Llandyssul, 1905. 

264 Lives of the British Saints 

In a poem entitled " Elphin's Consolation," attributed to Taliessin, 
but in reality late mediaeval, occurs the line, " The prayer of Cynllo 
shall not be in vain." l It doubtless refers to this Saint. 


CYNOG, called in Welsh hagiology Cynog Sant and Cynog Ferthyr, 
is invariably represented as the eldest son of Brychan. " Anlach 
gave his son Brachan as hostage to the King of Powys, and afterwards, 
in process of time, Brachan violated Banadlinet the daughter of 
Benadel. And she became pregnant and bore a son, Kynauc by 
name , who was carried to the caer and baptized. After this Brachan 
took a torque from his arm, and gave it to his son Kynauc. That 
Saint Kynauc is very celebrated in his own county of Brecheniauc, 
and that torque is preserved to the present time in the said province 
among its most precious relics." 2 

Giraldus Cambrensis describes this armlet. " I must not be silent 
concerning the collar (torques) which they call S. Canauc's ; for it 
is most like to gold in weight, nature and colour ; it is in four pieces 
wrought round, joined together artificially, and clef ted as it were in 
the middle, with a dog's head, the teeth projecting. It is considered 
by the inhabitants so powerful a relic, that no man ventures to swear 
falsely upon it when laid before him. It bears the marks of heavy 
blows, as if made by an iron hammer ; for a certain man, it is said, 
endeavouring to break the torque for the sake of the gold, experienced 
divine vengeance, was deprived of his eyesight, and lingered out 
the rest of his days in darkness." 3 It was preserved long in the 

His mother's name in the Domitian Cognatio is Banadylued, and is 
usually given in the late documents as Banhadlwedd (" Broom-aspect"), 
the daughter of Banhadle of Banhadla in Powys. 4 There are three 
townships in the parish of Llanrhaiadr ym Mochnant (patron, his 
half-brother S. Doe wan), which contain the name Banhadla, and 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 69. 

2 Cognatio de Br.ychan in Cott. Vesp. A. xiv. In the Domitian version he is said 
to have been baptized by S. Gastayn, to whom is dedicated Llangasty Talyllyn, 
who became his preceptor. His name occurs in the genitive Cunaci on the 
seventh or eighth century inscribed stone at Gesel Gyfarch, near Tremadoc. 
With the prefix Ty (anciently To) we have it in the Toquonocus (Tygynog) of 
Wrmonoc's Life of S. Paul de Leon (Revue Celtique, v, p. 437). 

3 I tin. Camb., i, chap. 2. 4 Peniarth MS. 127; Myv. Arch., p. 421. 


. Cynog ab Brychan 265 

the parish adjoins that of Llangynog, Montgomeryshire. Banhadel 
was at the time prince of Powys. 

Most of the churches dedicated to Cynog in Wales are situated in 
Brychan-land. He has the following dedications : Merthyr Cynog 
(where he is buried), Defynog or Devynock, Ystradgynlais, Penderin, 
Battle, and Llangynog, in Brecknockshire ; Boughrood, in Radnor- 
shire ; and Llangynog, in Montgomeryshire. Llangynog in Carmar- 
thenshire is probably not dedicated to him. Two other Llangynogs 
mentioned in the Book of Llan Ddv, but now extinct, were in all 
probability dedicated to him. One, Lann Cinauc, is Llangunnock, 
on the Garran, in Herefordshire. 1 The other, called Lann Guern 
Cinuc and Henlenic Cinauc, 2 is Llangunnock, on the Pill, in Mon- 
mouthshire. The latter was united at an early date with Llanddewi 
Fach, and is not mentioned in the Taxatio of 1291 or the Valor of 
I 535- Its ruins are near a farmhouse called Llys Brychan. It has 
been supposed that it was dedicated to a Cynog ab Cynwyl ab Gwyngon, 
who was nephew to a Brychan ab Gwyngon, 3 but the two names are 
misreadings of Conhae'and Bricon. Devynock, formerly called Y 
Ddyfynog, 4 is sometimes said to have been re-dedicated to S. Dyfnog, 
but this is a mere guess from the name. In a document dated 1315 
in the Cartulary of S. Peter's, Gloucester, 5 the church is called " Ecclesia 
Sancti Kannoci de Devennock." The church of Aberhafesp, Mont- 
gomeryshire, is also sometimes said to be dedicated to him, 6 but this 
is a mistake for Gwynog. 

According to Welsh tradition Cynog ended his days in Brecknock- 
shire. It is stated that he was murdered by the pagan Saxons, upon 
a mountain called Y Fan Oleu, or the Van, in the parish of Merthyr 
Cynog. 7 If so, then the church was a martyrium erected over his 
grave. However, it must be remembered that among the Irish a 
martyrium did not necessarily mean a place of martyrdom, but a 
consecrated tribal cemetery, in which some relics had been placed to 
sanctify it. 8 

How Saxons can have been in Brecknockshire in the fifth century 
is not easy to see. If Cynog was killed there it was in one of the 1 \jjL^. 
struggles for the expulsion of the Irish Brychan family, when he headed 
his clan pouring curses on the enemy, which failed in their effect, and 

1 P. 275. 2 Pp. 31, 43, 90, 252. 3 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 606-7. 

4 E.g., the parish list in Peniarth MS. 147 (circa 1566). 

5 Rolls Series, 1863, i, p. 42. 

6 Carlisle, Topog. Diet, of Wales, London, 1811, etc. 

7 lolo MSS., p. 119. 

* See what is said on this subject under the head of S. EUNY. 

266 Lives of the British Saints 

he was slaughtered, and the rest of his kinsmen either fell with him 
or fled to Cornwall or Ireland. 

There is preserved a poem, Cywydd Cynog Sant, 1 by the bard and 
historian Hywel ab Dafydd ab lefan ab Rhys, who lived in the second 
half of the fifteenth century, and was evidently connected with Breck- 
nockshire. In it he addresses the Saint as Cynog of Breconia, who 
had been left by Brychan supreme governor of that country. He 
had in earlier life, he says, refused a dominion and crown in Ireland 
" a prosperous, brilliant crown " but, for love of God, he chose the 
hermit-life instead. When he came over to this island he encountered 
in Caer Wedros (in S. Cardiganshire) a fiendish giant, addicted to 
cannibalism, that infested it. To spare a victim, he allowed the 
giant to cut a large slice off his own thigh ; and over the place grew 
" a sheep's white wool." The fiend, relishing it, came again for a 
slice, but Cynog slew him with his " torque from heaven," fashioned 
of red-yellow metal without the operation of a smith's hand. A 
smith of " Evena " once broke the torque in three, but it was miracu- 
lously pieced together again. When the Saint had his head cut off 
he still walked about with it hanging from his body, and he only 
ceased to live when the relic was snatched from under his garment. 
The bard concludes by invoking his good offices on behalf of Bry- 
cheiniog, being its " head and protector." 

Since writing the above we have come across the legend of S. Cynog 
as recorded by Hugh Thomas (died 1714), the Brecknockshire herald, 
which he had from " the poor Jgnorant Country People " about the 
year 1702. It is found in one of the volumes of his collection, be- 
queathed by him to the Earl of Oxford, and now in the British Museum, 
being Harleian MS. 4181. The legend is at ff. joa-jib, where it is 
said of Cynog : " In his youthfull days forsaking this World for the 
next, he retired from his Fathers Court to a Cott or Hermitage not 
far from the high Roade betweene Brecknock and Battle, about a 
Mile from Carevong his fathers Metropolitan City . . . where he 
traviled up and downe in a poor miserable Habit and made himself 
a heavy boult or Ring of Jron for his head roughly twisted togather 
like a Torce or Wreath insteed of a Crowne of Gold. . . . This ren- 
dered him . . . the Scorne and Derition of all that saw him from 
which he was nick named Kynog Camarch that is the Dispised Kynog 
[cammarch, literally, a crooked horse, i.e., a camel]. . . . There was 
in those days a savage Reprobate People that Jnhabited the Woods 
and Desarts called Ormests or [blank ; gormes means an encroach- 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 302-4. There are copies of it in Llanstephan MS. 47 (circa 
1630), and Llanover MS. B i (Llywelyn Sion). 

S. Cynog ab Brychan 267 

ment, oppression, or plague] and in old Welsh Tails Keurey or Giants 
that Robed and Pillaged the Civill Jnhabitants destroyed their houses 
laying waste whole Countries in the Night and eaven eate up mens 
flesh. These doeing much Damiage in the Country where Kynog 
abode a poor Widow who had severall small Children and no body to 
defend her from their rage and fury seeing one day St. Kynauc pass 
by her dore ernestly intreated him to take compassion upon her and 
her Children and to deliver them from these Ormests who but the night 
before had destroyed many of her neighbours the Holy man overcome 
with the Tears and Prayers of the poor Woman resolved to guard her 
house that Night which he spent in Prayer before her Dore when about 
Midnight these Ormests came who understanding by their Spyes there 
was no man to opose them but Kynauc they first set upon him and 
sirrounded him like so many furious Wolfes prepaired for slaughter 
who resigned to Divine Goodness remained immoueable all the time 
on his Knees Jmploring Divine Aids till a Voyce from Hevine com- 
manded him to throw his Torce at them having no other Wepon of 
Defence whereupon he hit their Ringleader such a blow that he Jnstant- 
ly fell downe Dead and his Bowells which had devoured much Jnocent 
Blood like Judas's burst in sunder and fell to the ground which so 
terified the rest of the Crew that they presently Flead leaving the 
Dead body as a testimony of the miracle and were never heard off in 
the Country after. This wrought in some an Honour and Respect 
for the Holy man and in others new Jndignities so that passing one 
day by a smith's shop where were a parcell of Idle fellows scoffing 
at the story the Smith call'd him in for sport and derition and taking 
from him his Torce or Wreath and striking it upon his Anvill in scorne 
said this never kil'd an Ormest with which a little piece of it flew cf 
and perced it Braine that he presently dropt downe Dead a Splinter 
of it being suffitient to kill a misbeleiver and struck them all into a 
fear and reverence of the Holy man as took away all Doubt of the 
story and caused it to be bruted all over the Countrey. . . - The 
manner of his martirdom is related thus being in his later dayes desireous 
of a fixed solitude for meditation he retired into his owne Country 
and adjoyned himselfe to the society of Sertaine Religious men that 
led a hermiticall life under the government of a superior in little cells 
upon the hill call'd the Vann about four miles from Brecknock and 
about 2 miles from Carevong the place of his birth which is now 
destroyed and called the Gare where he built him a hermitage under 
a steepe Rock neare the top of the Mountain. These men lived by 
the labour of their hands and had no water but what they fetched 
from the River at the futt of the Mountain which was very troublesom 

2, 68 Lives of the British Saints 

to carry up the steep hill ; this made them Grudg and Repine strangely 
while this Holy man underwent the labour with all chearfullness, and 
Reprehended them for their Murmerings and Slouth against a Labour 
which in it selfe was holy and worked an exceeding reward. . . . 
This raised their whole spleen against himself e, while God considering 
his age and good Will gave him Water upon the top of the Rock ouer 
his little Cell where he mounted every morning for meditation and 
Prayer where no man else could have any, this so enveterated their 
Rage thinking themselves mock'd by him that they Resolved to 
murther him, where upon two of them mounting the top of the Rock 
one Sunday morning found him at his Prayers and saw the Christiall 
spring at his feet, they furiously ran at him and cut of his head with 
a sword which dropt into the Well where the Water imediately gave 
way to his head and dried up, nor would God Almighty suffer these 
Wicked Monkes to triumph ouer that sacred head which had Humbled 
it selfe so much for his sake, for his Dead body assisted by his Holy 
Spirit imediately took up his head in his hands and carried it downe 
the Hill . . . from thence he walked on to a rising ground about a 
fields breadh beyond the Church and layed it downe under a Bush 
of Brambles." 

Over his head and body was raised the Church of Merthyr Cynog. 
Of the two churches formerly dedicated to him in that parish Hugh 
Thomas observes that the more ancient was taken down in the reign 
of Charles I, " as the simple country people tould me, who showed me 
the ruins of the church then remaining, with the yew trees then growing 
about it, and the church dore then to be scene." 

A supposed saying of Cy nog's is recorded among " the Sayings of the 
Wise " : ! 

Hast thou heard the saying of S. Cynog, 
Supreme governor of the land of Brecknock ? 
" Two-thirds of one's education is already in the head." 
(Deuparth addysg ym mhenglog.) 

Some curious customs formerly obtained at Devynock in connexion 
with his Gwyl Mabsant, or the wake. A fair, called Ffair y Bwla, 
was held on the second Thursday in October (O.S.), at which pur- 
chases were made for the wake, which commenced on the Sunday 
following, and lasted the week. It was held in front of the Bull Inn, 
and a great quantity of meat, poultry, and other good things, for 
consumption especially at the feast, was disposed of. The custom 
ceased in 1835, excepting only as regards the general purchase of 
geese against that particular Sunday. On the Monday, popularly 
called Dydd Llun Gwyl Gynog, the custom of " carrying Cynog " 
1 lolo MSS., p. 252. 

Uy^ -/ CtA- 



Tj^ (^ d *-> f^v^u.^Z,^ <~- J_ 5 / ^ - i 

S. Cynog ab B rye ban 269 

took place. A man, sometimes a stranger, for the consideration of 
a suit of clothes or money, enacted the part of Cynog, but on the 
last recorded occasion he was a drunken farmer of the neighbourhood. 
" Cynog " was dressed in a suit of old clothes, carried once through the 
village of Devynock, and then thrown into the river amid the jeers 
of the crowd, to scramble out as best he might. This was in 1822. 
On the Tuesday all the tithe of cheese, in lay hands, was brought 
to the churchyard, and laid on the tombstones, where it was sold. 1 

That Cynog came to Cornwall, when such a migration of his family 
took place as covered the east of the county with their foundations, 
is probable. A feast of SS. Cadoc and Cynog was kept at Padstow, 
on January 24. But his great foundation would be what is now S. 
Pinnock, Goidelic C becoming in Brythonic P. The adjoining parish 
of Boconnoc (Both-Cynog), however, retains his name unaltered Bod- 
conoke, Bishop Brantyngham's Register, 1382, 1394 ; Bod-conoke, 
1383. Nicolas Roscarrock, in his MS. Lives of the Saints, calls him 
Cananus or Conaucus, Martyr, eldest son of Brychan, otherwise called 
Canock, and makes him succeed S. Patrick in the see of Armagh. 
A curious blunder he must have confounded him with Cormac 
who followed Jarlath the successor of Benignus. His statement, 
however, shows that a tradition did exist in Wales that he had worked 
in Ireland with Patrick. Roscarrock's authority was a Welsh priest, 
Edward Powell. 

Moreover, the Irish do claim him as having settled in Ireland and 
as having been an active assistant to S. Patrick. The Tract on the 
Mothers of the Saints, attributed to Oengus the Culdee, but probably 
by MacFirbiss, gives his mother's name as Dina, and calls her daughter 
of a Saxon king. " She was mother of ten sons of Bracan, King of 
Britain, son of Bracha Meoc, to wit, S. Mogoroc of Struthuir, S. 
Mochonoc the Pilgrim of Kill Chairpre, etc." z Mochonoc is Mo- 
Cynog. The title of " Peregrinus " applied to him implies a somewhat 
restless habit. He did not remain ah 1 his life as an ecclesiastic with 
Patrick. He is perhaps the same as the Conan mentioned in the Life 
of the great Apostle, " Patrick went into Magh Foimsen, and found 
two brothers there, namely Luchta and Derglam. Derglam sent 
his bondsman to slay Patrick. Howbeit Luchta forbade him. Cui 
dixit Patricius : There will be priests and bishops of thy race. Accursed, 

1 Arch. Camb., 1853, p. 325 ; Wirt Sikes, British Goblins, 1880, pp. 279-80. 
Theophilus Jares (Brecknockshire, ed 1898, p. 498) says the Cynog was a poor 
hired boy, "who was carried at night about the village in a chair, and thrown 
into every dirty puddle through which his bearers could stagger along." 

* Colgan, A eta SS. Hib., i, p. 311. 

270 Lives of the British Saints 

however, will be the seed of thy brother, and they will be few. And 
he left in that place Priest Conan." x 

Crimthan of the Hy Cinnselach expelled the Hy Bairrche family 
from their territories, and gave to S. Patrick in his own land and in 
that newly acquired some thirty or forty sites for churches, and among 
these was one for Moconoc. 2 One of the guest masters of S. Patrick 
was called Ocanotus, and he was a priest. Colgan was inclined to 
think that he was identical with Mocanoc. 3 

In Ireland he was chiefly venerated at Galinne and Killros, and 
he seems to have been the founder of Kilmacanoge, near Bray, in 
the county of Wicklow. Galinne is Gallen in King's County. Killros, 
or Kill-Mucrois, would seem to be intended for Mochros in Wales, 
as it is quite inadmissible that he should be found up in Donegal, where 
is a small island of the name in Lough Swilly. Those of the Brychan 
family who did settle in Ireland remained in the south, about the Hy 
Cinnselach and Hy Bairrche country. 

In Ireland he is venerated on February n. 

Mr. Shearman conjectures that Cynog is the same as Mochonoc, 
the Pilgrim of Cill Moconoc, in Wicklow, and Gallen nam Breitnach, 
King's County ; and Colgan was led to the same conclusion. 4 Canoe 
or Mochonoc was entered in the Irish Martyrologies on November 
18. He is said to have been brother of S. Dabeoc or Mobeoc, but 
MacFirbiss, in his Genealogies of the Irish Saints, makes Dabeoc 
son of Luainin, of an Ulster family. The identification of Mochonoc 
with Cynog is more than problematical. 

The mother of Mochonoc and Dabeoc is, moreover, asserted to 
have been Digna or Dina, daughter of a Saxon chief, and to have 
been also parent of Mogeroc, Mochonog, Diraidh, Dubhan, Cairinne, 
Cairbre, Just, Elloc, Paan, and Caomhan ; and none of these names 
occur among the children of Brychan. 5 4- 

Wilson, in his English Martyrologie, 1608, gives Canock, Confessor, 
on February u, and with an asterisk to show that there was no 
authority for this attribution. He is followed by Cressy. He says : 
" In Brecknockshire of Wales the Commemoration of S. Canock, 
Confessor, who being son to Braghan, King of Brechon . . . and 
great uncle to S. David, Bishop of Menevia, was very famous for 
holiness of life in those parts, about the yeare of Christ, 492 ; and 

1 Tripartite Life, p. 1 1 1 ; also Life in the Book of Armagh, ii, pp. 321-2. 

2 Tripartite Life, p. 193. 

3 Trias Thaumaturga, Vita 7m , lib. iii, c. 98, and nn. 125-6 ; nn. 167, 188. 

4 Colgan, Acta SS. Hib., February n, pp. 311-4. 

5 O'Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints, i, p. 13. He refers to the Felire of 
Oengus, but we can find no such entry in Whitley Stokes' edition. 

t *v-^v~*X.i Y i^j^ 
,-, L w-*,.^ 

- L S: C^^- ' 

S. Cynog 271 

whose memory is yet famous amongst the ancient Britons of our Island, 
especially in South Wales. He had a brother called S. Cadocke, that 
was a martyr, and a sister named S. Keyne, who lived about the same 
time, in great opinion of sanctity, as the records of their lives, yet 
extant, do demonstrate." 

Wilson, accordingly, did not reckon Cynog as a martyr. He was 
mistaken in making Cadoc a son of Brychan, and he had no authority 
for setting Cynog's day on February n. 

His festival in Wales was in October, as at Devynock. The Prymers 
of 1618 and 1633 give the 8th ; so does Browne Willis 1 as his festival 
at Llangynog, Montgomeryshire, and the same day occurs in a number 
of Welsh Almanacks of the eighteenth century. The lolo MSS. 
Calendar and Nicolas Roscarrock give the gth. Hugh Thomas 
says the festival was kept in his time on the second Thursday in 
October. Allwydd Paradwys (1670) gives March 14. At Padstow 
he was commemorated, as we have seen, on January 24. 

S. CYNOG, Bishop, Confessor 

LLANGYNOG, in full Llangynog yn Derllysg, 2 in Carmarthenshire,, 
is most probably dedicated to Bishop Cynog. 3 His parentage is 
not known. He was first of all Bishop of Llanbadarn, where he seems 
to have succeeded S. Padarn, but he cannot have presided over it 
for long. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth and Giraldus Cambrensis 
he was transferred from Llanbadarn to become the immediate suc- 
cessor of S. David at Menevia, 4 where he died in 606 (Annales Cambrice). 
The see of Llanbadarn was for the principality of Ceredigion, but it 
included only the northern half of modern Cardiganshire, together 
with Brecknockshire north of the Irfon, the west of Radnorshire, and 
perhaps a few parishes along the southern boundary of Montgomery- 
shire. Little is known of the see during its short-lived existence.. 

1 Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 360. In his 5. Asaph, 1720, p. 293, he had said, 
" Feast follows the Sunday after the 7th of October." He gives the 7th also- 
against Battle parish (Parochiale Anglicanum, 1733, p. 180). 

2 Myv. Arch., p. 421 ; Peniarth MS. 147 (parish list). 

3 Rees, Welsh Saints, pp. 139140. " Deiniol, Theon, Cynawg . . . escobion 
oeddynt yn nyddiau Arthur " (Peniarth MS. 316). 

4 Red Book Bruts, Oxford, p. 233 ; Giraldus, I tin. Camb., ii, ch. i ; Opera, 
vi, ed. Dimock, p. 102 ; Basil Jones and Freeman, S. David's, 1856, pp. 248,. 
258. Under Llawhaden is mentioned in the Valor of 1535, iv, p. 389, a mansion, 
called " Seynt Canock." 

272 Lives of the British Saints 

Many of its churches were in 720 destroyed by the Saxon invaders. 1 
Soon afterwards, probably weakened and disorganized, it must have 
been merged in the see of S. David's. The suppression, however, 
is said to have been effected in consequence of the murder of Idnerth, 
their Bishop, by the people of Llanbadarn.* S. Curig, if Bishop of 
any see was probably of Llanbadarn. Under the year 1136 is recorded 
the death of leuan, " archpriest " (archeffeirat) of Llanbadarn-* 
which would seem to mean its abbot. 

Cynog's festival is not known. Possibly it is that given in Allwydd 
Paradwys on March 14. 

S. CYNON of Armorica, Confessor 

THIS Cynon was one of the large band that came over from Llydaw 
with S Cadfan. 4 His name 5 in the early genealogies in Pemarth 
MSS 16 and 45, and Hafod MS. 16 is written Cynan. His pedigree 
is not given In the late lolo MSS. documents we are told that he 
was of the gwelygordd or stock of Emyr Llydaw, and therefore 
related to Cadfan. Further, that like Cadfan and the rest of his 
companions, he was at one time a "Saint" in Bangor Illtyd and 
Bangor Catwg and when Cadfan went to Bardsey and founded Bangor 
Enlli he accompanied him, as did nearly all his other " Saints and 
learned men " Here he became Cadfan's cynghellawr or chancellor. 

He is generally regarded as being the patron of Tregynon, in Mont- 
gomeryshire, and Capel Cynon, in Cardiganshire, but on what authority 
it does not appear. Two miles north-east of Llanbister village, in 
Radnorshire, there is an antique family mansion called Croes Cynon. 
He has been connected with this spot. Here, it is said, was his Cross ; 
his hermitage was scooped in the rock called Craig Cynon and his 
beverage was the water of Nant Cynon ! The triplets caed the 
Stanzas of the Hearing " and the " Sayings of the Wise wouk 
-seem to confirm this 7 : 

i Caradog's Brut, p. 6, supplement to Arch. Camb. for 1864. 

Giraldus, Itin. Camb., ii, ch. 4 ; Gibson's Camden, 11, 7 6 9 , 7/6. 
Red Book Bruts, p. 310. 

* Myv. Arch., pp. 421-2 ; Cambro-Bntish Saints, p. 266. 

e William Hist.'of Radnorshire, in Arch. Camb., 1858, p. 502 ; W. Scott Owen, 

P. *53- The texts slightly differ. The 
form of the ' saying as a proverb is usually inverted, " The key of the heart 
is good ale " (Myv. Arch., p. 839). 

S. Cynwal 273 

Hast thou heard what Cynon sang 
When avoiding drunkards ? 
" (Good) ale is the key of the heart." 
(Cwrw (da) yw allwedd calon.) 

Browne Willis gives Tregynon as dedicated to a " S. Knonkell," 
with festival on November g, 1 by whom Cynon is no doubt meant, 
as there was no Saint of that name. His festival does not occur in 
any of the Calendars. 

Cynon was once rather a common name. Several Cynons, who 
were clerics, are mentioned in the Book of Llan Ddv. 

S. CYNON of Manaw, Confessor 

THERE was another Cynon, who was of the family of Brychan, either 
a son or grandson of that great father of Saints. In the Vespasian 
Cognatio he is entered as a son, thus, " Kynon qui sanctus est in 
occidentali parte predicte Mannie " ; in the Domitian version as a 
grandson, " Arthen qui erat pater Kynon qui est in Manan." Jesus 
College MS. 20 gives him as a son of Brychan. He does not occur 
as Cynon in the late Brychan lists, but as Rhun. So in the Domitian 
entry, " Run ipse sanctus ycallet (sic) in Manan." 

Mannia or Manaw is either Manaw Gododin, which stretched along 
both sides of the Forth below Stirling, or the Isle of Man. Brychan 's 
children, Arthen and Bethan (Bechan), are also connected with the 
same district. 

No churches are mentioned as being dedicated to this Cynon. 


S. CYNWAL or CYNWALAN, Confessor 

THESE names are only known to us through the Book of Llan Ddv, 
and seem to represent but one person. Under the form Congual he 

1 Survey of Bangor, 1721, p. 360 ; Liber Regis, ed. Bacon, 1786, p. 1,047, fi tc. 
Lewis Morris, Celtic Remains, p. 412, writes it " Knomkell." 


274 Lives of the British Saints 

is mentioned in the Life of 5. Dubricius 1 as a disciple of that Saint. 
Lann Cingualan, otherwise Cella Cyngualan, situated in Govver, is 
said to have been a church which belonged to Llandaff before the 
first visitation of the Yellow Plague, but was then lost. 2 It was 
afterwards recovered, and is given in the lists of churches claimed by 
the church of Llandaff in the twelfth century. It was called Mon- 
asterium Sancti Cinguali in the time of Bishop Lybiau, 927-9, from 
which it may be inferred that it was still a monastery. 3 It has been 
suggested that it is Ilston, 4 but without sufficient grounds. 

Dr. Frederic Seebohm makes the very plausible suggestion 5 that 
the Gospel codex, the Book of S. Chad, was bought, for a " best horse," 
by Gelhi for the altar of Llandaff from the monastery of S. Cingual. 

S. CYNWYD, Confessor 

IT has been usual to regard the church of Llangynwyd, sometimes 
called Llangynwyd Fawr, in Glamorganshire, as dedicated to Cynwyd 
Cynwydion, the son of Cynfelyn ab Arthwys, of the race of Coel Godebog, 
and the father of Clydno Eiddyn, Cynan Genhir, Cynfelyn Drwsgl, 
and Cadrod Calchfynydd. But he was one of the " Men of the North," 
who were all warriors, and there is no proof that he was ever connected 
with Glamorgan. Like the rest of those northern chieftains, he has 
been appropriated by the compilers of the late Achau'r Saint in the 
lolo MSS., 6 and made to be a Saint of Bangor Catwg, at Llancarfan. 

Among the " Stanzas of the Hearing " occurs 7 

Hast thou heard what Cynwyd sang 

And heard said ? 

" The most excusable of injury is the evil of war." 

One of the " Stanzas of the Achievements " runs 8 

" The achievement of Cynwyd Cynwydion 
Was the advancement of goodly institutions, 
And the establishment for corau of wise regulations." 

1 P. 80. A cleric, Cingual, signed two grants in the time of Bp. Gulfrit, p. 224. 

2 P. 144. 3 P. 239. 4 Liber Landavensis, p. 386. 

6 Tribal System in Wales, 1895, p. 183. 

8 Pp. 105, 128. A brook called Cynwyd runs into the Dee at Cynwyd village, 
near Corwen. 

7 Myv. Arch., p. 127 ; cf. ibid., p. 846. There is a variant reading of the last 
line, " The best of iniquity is possessing." The text is corrupt. We give Dr. 
Owen Pughe's renderings. 

8 lolo MSS., p. 263. 

S. Cynwyl 275 

The only evidence that seems to support his association with Llan- 
gynwyd, is the fact that two of the largest farms in the Middle Hamlet, 
Bryn Cynan and Maes Cadrod, contain the names of two sons of his. 
Cynwyd occurs in the cartulary of Llancarfan in the name of one of 
the atria belonging to its canonici " Atrium Albryt mab Cynuyt, 
cum villa Alt Cynuit." l Browne Willis 2 gives Llangynwyd as dedi- 
cated to S. Cunetus, that is, Cynwyd, with festival on September 28. 
Edward Lhuyd gives as well October 15 as the festival day. Ffynnon 
Gynwyd is near the church. The old day-school, which stood near 
the church tower, was called by the villagers Ty Cynwyd ; and there 
was formerly near the village a cromlech popularly called " the Old 

S. CYNWYL, Confessor 

CYNWYL was the son of Dunawd ab Pabo Post Prydyn, of the line of 
Coel Godebog, by Dwywei, daughter of Lleenog. 3 Dunawd was one of 
the chiefs of the north who was forced to fly to Wales from the conquering 
Picts and Scots, and he placed himself under the protection of Cyngen 
ab Cadell Deyrnllwg, prince of Powys. He and his sons embraced 
the religious life, and Dunawd, along with his sons Deiniol, Cynwyl, 
and Gwarthan, founded the monastery of Bangor Iscoed, on the banks 
of the Dee, in Flintshire. According to the lolo MSB. the three 
brothers were disciples of S. Catwg at Llancarfan, and it was he that 
sent them to direct the Bangor in Maelor, which, " in consequence 
of their wisdom and piety," became very eminent. 

Cynwyl, however, moved away, and he seems to have been favourably 
received by S. David, and perhaps by his advice planted himself in 
the fertile mountain-basin of Caio, that is traversed by the old Roman 
Road, the Sarn Helen, from Loventium. Here he selected a green 
knoll at the higher end of the basin, once the bed of a lake, with the 
mountains, Mynydd Mallaen, rising at the back to fifteen hundred 
feet, clothed in heather. Here the river Annell comes dancing down 
from its moorland cradle, and meets another stream. Combined, 
they sweep down the long trough past a rocky height that shoots 
up as an island, and where, possibly, the turbulent Sawyl had 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 83. 

2 Llandaff, 1719, append, p. 4. In a deed of Margam Abbey, dated 1331, 
it is called the Church of S. Cunit ; Birch, History of Margam Abbey, 1897, 
p. 302. 3 lolo MSS., pp. 126, 129, 150. 

276 Lives of the British Saints 

planted himself in a prehistoric fortress, till it discharged into the 

On the knoll that rose between the Annell and its humble tributary, 
Cynwyl erected his church and cell of wattles, and about him he 
gathered disciples. 

But every now and then the yearning came on him to be alone with 
God, and then he ascended the narrow valley of the Annell, to where 
a huge block has rolled down from the mountain, and stands poised 
above the babbling stream. 

Here he was wont to pray ; tradition says that he knelt in the water 
and prayed there, and hollows are shown in the rock, worn by the 
swirl of the stream, but supposed to have been indented by his knees. 
Till quite of late years farmers would scoop the water out of these 
hollows to pour it over the backs of their cattle as a preservative 
against sundry disorders. 

But Cynwyl did not confine himself to Cynwyl Gaio. 1 The churches 
of Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthenshire, and Aberporth, Cardiganshire, 
have likewise been attributed to him, and he is the patron Saint of 
Penrhos, a chapel under Llannor, Carnarvonshire. The last named 
was sometimes called Llangynwyl or Llangynfil. Browne Willis 
gives it as dedicated to the three Saints, " Cynvil, Heged, and Rhodd- 
iad." z There is a Lann Cinuil mentioned in the Book of Llan Ddv, 3 
which has been identified with Llangynvyl, near Monmouth, now 
extinct. See under S. CYNFALL. 

His festival does not occur in any of the Calendars, but Rees 4 
gives it as April 30. Browne Willis, 5 however, gives January 5 as 
his festival at Cynwyl Elfed, January 8 at Cynwyl Gaio, and 
November 21 at Aberporth (here as Cynfil). 

Cynwyl Sant is mentioned in the Arthurian romance of Culhwch 
and Olwen 6 as " the third man that escaped from the Battle of Camlan, 
and he was the last who parted from Arthur, on Hengroen his horse," 
the other two being Morfran ab Tegid and Sandde Bryd Angel. Cad 
Gamlan, so often alluded to in the mediaeval Welsh bards, was fought 

1 The church is called " Ecclesia Sancti Kynwil " in a charter of Talley Abbey 
(i/th Edward II), Arch. Camb., 1893, p. 42. Ffynnon Gynwyl is on the banks 
of the Annell, and Croes Gynwyl is in the neighbourhood. Cynwyl is a brook 
name at Cynwyl Elfed. 

2 Survey of Bangor, p. 275 ; Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 331, gives Cynwyl only. 

3 P. 275. * Welsh Saints, p. 260. 

5 Parochiale Anglicanum, 1733, pp. 187, 189, 198. 

6 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 108. In the later version of this Triad 
we have instead of Cynwyl, Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr, of whom it is said, " because 
of his stature and strength everybody fled from him " (Myv. Arch., p. 393). 

S. Cynyr 277 

between Arthur and his nephew Medrod on the banks of the Camlan 
on the borders of Devonshire and Cornwall, in the year 537, when 
Arthur was mortally wounded. 

S. CYNYDYN, Confessor 

CYNYDYN was the son of Bleiddud ab Meirion ab Tybion ab 
Cunedda, and the brother of S. Cynfelyn. He was a periglawr or con- 
fessor in " Bishop Padarn's Cor" at Llanbadarn Fawr, Cardiganshire, 
where he lies buried. 1 No churches are mentioned as dedicated to 

Lewis Morris z thought that the Canotinn on an inscribed stone in 
the churchyard of Llanwnnws, Cardiganshire, might refer to Cynydyn. 
The correct reading of the inscription, however, is Carotinn, 3 and 
local tradition connects it with the name of Caradog, there being a 
waterfall, called Pwll Caradog, close by. 

Nothing more appears to be known of Cynydyn. 

S. CYNYR, Prince, Confessor 

CYNYR of Caer Gawch, in Menevia, the grandfather of S. David, 
is included among the Welsh Saints in the late documents printed 
in the lolo MSS. 4 According to these he was the son of S. Gwyndeg 
ab Seithenin, and had a brother S. Padrig. 5 He is said to have 
been twice married ; first to Mechell (correctly Marchell), daughter 
of Brychan ; but she was the wife of Gwrin Farfdrwch of Meirionydd, 
as we know from the Cognatio de Brychan. His other wife was Anna, 
the daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid. He was father of SS. Gwestlan 
(Guistlianus), Sadwrn Hen, Non, Gwen, and Banhadlen. 6 

Cynyr has been made to be regulus of a district in Pembrokeshire, 
which became afterwards known as Pebidiog or Dewisland, and is 
now, it would appear, conterminous with the Deanery of that name. 
The lolo MSS. 1 add, " Cynyr gave his territory to God and Dewi and the 
Saints for ever, to found a church in Menevia ; to which place Dewi 
came from Caerleon on Usk after the death of Arthur the Emperor." 
Cynyr thereupon embraced the religious life. These are late state- 
ments, and altogether uncorroborated. There do not appear to be 
any traces of the names Cynyr and Caer Gawch 8 in Dewisland. 

1 lolo MSS., p. 125. * Myv. Arch., p. 422. 

3 Westwood, Lapidarium Watties, 1876-9, pp. 144-5. 

4 In these and other late documents his name is often wrongly written Gynyr 
and even Ynyr, through misunderstanding of such a formula as the Bonedd 
" Non ferch Gynyr." Cynyr as a name has been identified with the Irish Conaire. 

P. 141- Ibid., pp. 106-7. ' Pp. 106, 114, 124. 

8 For the names RP.P. Owen's Pembrokeshire . ii, pp. 410-1. 

278 Lives of the British Saints 



S. CYWAIR, Virgin 

THE saintly genealogies knew nothing of this Saint. The name 
is generally assumed to be that of a female Saint, and is written Cywair 
and Cowair. J She is the patroness of the little church of Llangy wair 
or Llangower, near Bala, in Merionethshire. She is sometimes said, 
but wrongly, to be the same as Gwawr, daughter of Brychan, and 
mother of Llywarch Hen, the latter being traditionally associated, 
towards the close of his life, with the neighbouring parish of Llanfor. 

Her festival is July n, and is entered against this day in many 
of the Welsh Calendars, and a number of eighteenth century Welsh 
Almanacks. Browne Willis, and Bishop Maddox (1736-43), in MS. Z 
in the Episcopal Library at S. Asaph, also give the same day. Edward 
Lhuyd says it is " a fortnight after S. Peter's Day." 

There is a stone in the parish known as Llech Gower, which has 
a cross upon it. She has her holy well here. Edward Lhuyd says, 
" Ffynnon Gower is within quarter of a mile of the church, where 
they used to bathe children for the rickets." 

According to the legend of the formation of Bala Lake, current 
in the early eighteenth century, Cywair had another holy well. 
The legend states that the lake was " at one time only a well, about 
the middle of the present lake, opposite Llangywer. It was called 
Ffynnon Gywer, and the town was then situated near and about the 
well. A command had been given, and it was the imperative duty 
of someone, to place a cover over the well every night. (It was under- 
stood that if this was neglected the town would be imperilled.) The 
cover, however, was forgotten one night, and by the morning, lo, 
the town had subsided, and a lake had been formed three miles long 
by one mile broad. They say, moreover, that in fine weather some 
people have seen the chimneys of the houses beneath the clear water. 
It was after this calamity that the present town of Bala was built." 2 

1 The parish occurs as Langewoyr in the Taxatio of 1291, p. 287. 

2 Cyfaill yr Aelwyd, 1889, p. 50 ; Cymru, September 1903, p. 141 ; Rhys 
Celtic Folklore, pp. 376-7. For another version of the legend see' W. Jenkyn. 
Thomas, Welsh Fairy Book, London, 1907, p. 114. A well-known local 
" prophecy " says : 

" Y Bala aeth, a'r Bala aiff, 
A Llanfor aiff yn llyn." 

But there are similar " prophecies " of other Welsh towns. 

S. Dagan 279 

S. CYWYLLOG, Matron 

CYWYLLOG or Cwyllog was one of the 'several children of Caw that 
have foundations in Anglesey. 1 Caw, having lost his territory in 
North Britain, sought an asylum, with his children, in Wales. Maelgwn 
Gwynedd granted him the district of Twrcelyn in north-east Anglesey. 
Cywyllog founded the church of Llangwyllog, which parish, situated 
in the centre of the island, embraces portions of several commotes, 
Twrcelyn among them. She was the wife of Medrod, the traitorous 
nephew of King Arthur, who was killed at the Battle of Camlan, on 
the borders of Devonshire and Cornwall, in 537. Angharad Llwyd 2 
says that " she embraced a religious life after her husband's death." 
Her festival at Llangwyllog was January 7 according to Browne 
Willis, 3 but it does not occur in any of the calendars. 

She has not given name to Gyffylliog, near Ruthin. Willis says : 
" Cyffylliog, ita dicta quod ibi in trunco querno inventa fuit imago 
Beatae Virginis." 4 

S. DAGAN, Bishop, Abbot, Confessor 

DAGAN was son of Colmad, of the illustrious house of Dal-Messin- 
corb. His mother, Coeltigherna, was sister of S. Coemgen. He had 
three brothers, Mobai, Menoc, and Moliba, Bishop of Glendalough. 6 

Dr. Lanigan adduces good reasons for holding that the birth of 
the Saint cannot be placed later than 570,* and Colgan also holds 
that he was born at the close of the sixth century. 

One day, some monks visited S. Pulcherius at Liathmore, having 
with them Dagan, then a little boy. They found the Abbot on his 
knees in a field. He bade them prepare for death, for it had been 
revealed to him that, with the exception of the little lad, they would 
die shortly, and this took place. 

1 Myv. Arch., p. 422 ; lolo MSS., pp. 109, 117 ; in one list of Caw's children, 
p. 137, Cywellog is given as a son. 

z Hist, of Anglesey, p. 284. 

3 Survey of Bangor, p. 281. 

1 Ibid., p. 278. 'Mewn ciphyll derw y cad delw Fair" MS. of 1590-1 
(J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 914). j 

5 Colgan, Acta 55. Hibern., p. 586 ; Colmad is called Colman in the Sancti- 
logium Genealogicum, c. xx. Gloss on F&lire of Oengus, ed. Whitley Stokes, 
p. xliii. 

' Eccl. Hist. Ireland, ii, p. 366. 



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S. Dagan 281 

Dagan remained with Pulcherius. 

Not long after, a raid of Ossorians took place, and the raiders, find- 
ing Dagan keeping the cattle of the monastery, dealt him a wound 
in the throat, from which he ever after bore a scar. In thankful- 
ness for his preservation from death, Dagan received the Communion 
from the hands of his Abbot. 1 

Probably, whilst he was still young, he went to Cornwall, and be- 
came a pupil of S. Petrock, 2 though a passage quoted by Leland in- 
timates that it was much later. 3 But otherwise it is not possible to 
reconcile the chronology of his life with that of S. Petrock. 

Eventually Dagan returned to Ireland, and settled at Inverdaoile, 
near the coast, in Wicklow, then in the territory of the Hy Cinnselach. 
Inverdaoile is now Ennereilly, and the ruins of an old Church remain 
there, surrounded by a graveyard much in request. It is near the 
sea-shore, in a bleak spot, above the Red Cross River. A Holy Well 
gushes forth below the cemetery. 4 

For some time Inverdaoile bore the name of Achadh Dagan, or 
the Field of Dagan, and it was here that his monastery was founded. 
He was consecrated Bishop about the year 609. Dagan is said to 
have taken S. Lugid's Rule to Rome, and to have shown it to S. 
Gregory (590-604). S. Lugid's Rule divided the day into three parts, 
one for work, one for prayer, and one for study. When Gregory 
saw it, he said, " The man who drew up this Rule had an eye rang- 
ing round his community and up to Heaven." 

When S. Lugid felt his end approaching, he went to consult Dagan 
as to whom he should nominate as his successor. " Lactean is the 
man for you," said Dagan. 

"I think so," answered Lugid. Then Dagan said, "Bless us 
before you depart." " Blessing shall be given you from above," 
answered Lugid. 

Dagan supposed that he purposed mounting a hill and blessing 
the monastery thence, but Lugid meant that the benediction would 
descend from Heaven. 

Lugid went thence to S. Cronan of Roscrea, and received the Com- 
munion from his hands, and surrendered his monastery to him, and 
not to Lactean, as Dagan had advised. 

1 Vita S. Mochoemochi sive Pulcherii, in Colgan, and Acta~_SS. Boll., Mart., 
ii, pp. 38i-8. 

2 William of Worcester, Itin., ed. Nasmith, 1778 ; Leland, see next note. 

3 " Quaesitus hoc laboriosa scientiae thesaurus cura, Tandem inventus est ; 
qui jam ne deliteret, inventor Hibernicas gazas in Coriniam transtulit, et videndas 
omnibus exhibuit." Leland, De Scriptoribus Britannicis, i, p. 61. 

* O'Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints, ix, p. 319. 

. 71- 

282 Lives of the British Saints 

The Saint was a great traveller, and acquired the title of " the 

Dagan was an ardent supporter of the Irish modes of tonsure and 
Paschal computation. 

How it was, we do not know, but by some means he was brought 
into communication with Laurentius, immediate successor to Augus- 
tine at Canterbury (604-619). Augustine had failed to come to 
terms with the British Bishops, who were offended at his arrogance. 
Laurence attempted to effect a union with the Scotic (Irish) Bishops. 

Bede gives us the beginning of a letter sent to them, in which 
reference is made to Dagan. 1 

" To the lords, our very dear brethren, the bishops and abbots 
throughout all Scotia, Laurence, Mellitus, and Justus, bishops, servants 
of God : 

" When the Apostolic see sent us, as its wont has been in all parts 
of the world, to preach in these western parts to the pagan races, it 
happened that we entered the country before we were properly ac- 
quainted with it. We have venerated both the Britons and the 
Scots, with great reverence for their sanctity, believing that they 
walked in the way of the Universal Church. But since we have got 
to know the Britons, we have supposed that the Scots are superior 
to them. Now, however, we have learned by means of Bishop Dagan, 
who has come to Britain, and of Abbat Columbanus among the Gauls, 
that they do not differ from the Britons in their manner of life. For 
when Bishop Dagan came to us, he not only would not take food 
with us, but would not even take food in the same guest-house in 
which we were eating." 

Dagan had passed through Wales. Popular tradition pointed out 
the place of his landing on Strumble Head, where stood a Capel 
Degan, commemorating his visit there. About this more presently. 

In Wales, among the British, he had heard of the conference at 
Augustine's Oak, and had felt the resentment that had been provoked 
by the rudeness of Augustine, shown to men he venerated profoundly, 
and he hotly took their side against the Italian Missioners. 

Nevertheless, he is represented as a man of very mild disposition 
-^-prce-placidum he is called by Marianus O'Gorman, who is a very 
late authority (1167), and drew from his own imagination the 
characteristics of the Saints he commemorated. 

One is tempted to quote the words of Pope in the Dunciad, relative 
to this controversy 

1 Hist. Eccl., ii, c. 4. 

S. Dagan 283 

Behold yon Isle, by Palmers, Pilgrims trod, 

Men bearded, bald, cowl'd, uncowl'd, shod, unshod, 

Peel'd, patch'd, and pyebald, linsey-wolsey brothers. 

Grave Mummers ! sleeveless some, and shirtless others. 

That once was Britain. Happy ! had she seen 

No fiercer sons, had Easter nearer been. 

Of Dagan no biography exists. 

The Bishop of Bristol (Dr. Browne) says, in reference to the con- 
troversy between Dagan and Laurence, "It is very interesting to 
find that we can, in these happy days of the careful examination of 
ancient manuscripts, put a friendlier face upon the relations between 
the two Churches in times not much later than these, and in connexion 
with the very persons here named. In the earliest Missal of the 
Irish Church known to be in existence, the famous Stowe Missal, 
written probably eleven hundred years ago, and for the last eight 
hundred years contained in the silver case made for it by order of a 
son of Brian Boroimhe, there is of course a list it is a very long list 
of those for whom intercessory prayers were offered. In the earliest 
part of the list there are entered the names of Laurentius, Mellitus, 
and Justus, the second, third and fourth Archbishops of Canterbury, 
and then, with only one name between, comes Dagan. The presence 
of these Italian names in the list does great credit to the kindliness 
of the Celtic monks, as the marked absence of Augustine's name 
testifies to their appreciation of his character. Many criticisms on 
his conduct have appeared ; I do not know of any that can compare, 
in first-hand interest, and discriminating severity, with the omission 
of his name and inclusion of his successors' names in the earliest Irish 
Missal which we possess. It is so early that it contains a prayer that 
the Chieftain who had built them their church might be converted 
from idolatry. Dagan, who had refused to sit at table with Lauren- 
tius and Mellitus, reposed along with them on the Holy Table for 
many centuries in this forgiving list." x 

Dagan died on September 13. The Annals of the Four Masters 
give the date as 640. 

The meeting with Laurence would seem to have taken place about 
608. He was then a bishop, and probably not very young. 

S. Mochoemog or Pulcherius is said to have died in 655 at the ad- 
vanced age of a hundred and six. 

If we suppose that Dagan died at the age of eighty-eight, then he 
was born in 552, and he would have been over fifty when he met 
Laurentius. The dates in the life of S. Petrock are very difficult 

1 Browne (G. F.), The Christian Church in these Lands before Augustine, 
S.P.C.K., 1897, pp. 128-9. 

284 Lives of the British Saints 

to determine. Dagan was with him for five years. Petrock's arrival 
in Cornwall was between 520 and 560, so that Dagan was with him 
only when quite young. 

His day in the Felire of Oengus, the Donegal and Tallagh Martyro- 
logies, is September 13. He is also commemorated, as of Glenda- 
lough, on January 8. That this is the same Dagan we can hardly 
doubt, as he was akin to S. Coemgen of Glendalough. 

In Wales he seems to have tarried some time and to have been 
well known. Fenton, in his Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire, 1 
says : " Westward of Trehowel, near the edge of the cliff, over- 
hanging a small creek, are seen the faint ruins of a Chapel dedicated 
to S. Tegan or Degan, of whom this country abounds with legends ; 
his sanctity bore no proportion to his stature, for that is represented 
as most diminutive. When very young, I recollect an old man who 
said he remembered the Chapel up, and in a part of it then roofed, 
the Saint's sacred vest was preserved and shown, which was pur- 
chased many years after by a stranger travelling in those parts ; 
with the removal of his robe, the fame of his sanctity died away. 

" It seems this sacred garment was in existence about the year 
1720 ; for in a letter of that date to Browne Willis, from one H. Goff, 
a member of the Cathedral of S. David's, the writer says (MSS. Bib. 
Bodl.), ' That above a small creek in Lanwnda parish there is a ruined 
chapel, called S. Degan's, having near to it a spring, named after 
the saint ; and above the said spring a tumulus, called S. Degan's 
Knwc or Knoll, where people resort to seat themselves on holidays 
and Sundays. There is a remarkable habit of this said S. Degan 
preserved for several ages ; the person that has it now having had 
it in his custody for forty years, to whom it was handed down by 
an elderly matron of upwards of ninety years of age. This habit, 
a piece whereof I have s.ent you enclosed, I had the curiosity to see ; 
it is much in the form of a clergyman's cassock, but without sleeves. 
There were two of them of the same make near a yard in length, but 
having a like slit or hole at every corner on each end, and on the 
brim of each side were loops of blue silk.' 

" The veneration for this little duodecimo saint is hereditary amongst 
the inhabitants of this district, who tell a thousand miraculous stories 
of him, and never fail to point out the prints of his horse's feet in the 
cliffs up which he rode when he emerged from the ocean, for it seems 
he was a sort of marine production. Numerous prophecies, likewise 
ascribed to him, have been handed down traditionally from father 
to son for generations ; and one more remarkable than the rest for 
1 London, 1811, pp. 20-1 ; Brecon, 1903, pp. 13-4. 

S. David 285 

prefiguring, with a most circumstantial coincidence, the late French 
descent on that coast." Fenton alludes here to the French abortive 
invasion of Wales in 1797. 

In the Dunkeld Litany he is invoked as Dagamach, and in Scotland 
he is called Dagam. " We often find a confusion between n and m 
in the Scottish lists. We find Cromanus and Cronanus confounded,, 
so this Dagamus is the same as the Daganus of Beda." 1 He 
received a certain cult in Galloway. 

Bishop Forbes gives as his day May 29, but he does not occur in 
the Scottish Calendars. 

William of Worcester says that Dagan with his companions Medan 
and Croidan were commemorated at Bodmin on June 4. 

Leland says : " S. Petrocus, S. Credanus, S. Medanus, et S. Dachuna 
vir in Botraeme [Bodmin in Cornubia], " i.e., were buried. 2 

Dagan is invoked in the Litany in the Stowe Missal. 3 

A Dagan was Abbot of Llancarfan in the time of Bishops Oudoceus- 
and Berthwyn. 4 


S. DAVID (DEWI), Abbot, Bishop, Confessor, Patron of 


THE authorities for the Life of Dewi Sant or S. David are : 
i. A Vita 5. Davidis, by Ricemarchus (Rhygyfarch), Bishop of 
Menevia 1088-96, composed some 500 years after the Saint's death. 

Of this several MSS. exist, two in the British Museum, Cotton 
Vesp. A. xiv, and Nero, E. i ; two in the Bodleian Library, Oxford ; 
and one in Corpus Christi College Library, Cambridge all of the 
thirteenth century. It was published in part by Wharton, Anglia 
Sacra, ii, pp. 645-7, an d m whole by Rees, Cambro-British Saints,. 

pp. 117-43- 

The various other Lives are all amplifications or abridgments of 

1 Forbes, Kalendars of Scottish Saints, p. 320. 

2 Collect., i, p. 75. 

3 Warren's Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, Oxf., 1881, p. 240. 

4 BookofLlanDdv.pp. 158, 175, 187, 196. Danoc is also given (p. 179) as its 
abbot in the latter bishop's time, by whom is probably meant Dagan. Danoc 
occurs also as a clerical witness in the Cartulary of Llancarfan (Cambro-British, 
Saints, p. 90). 

286 Lives of the British Saints 

this one, the fullest known text of which is that in Cott. Vesp. A. xiv, 
but it may not be as Rhygyfarch wrote it. 

2. A second, by Giraldus Cambrensis, d. 1223. The MS. Cotton 
Vitellius E. vii was badly injured by fire in 1731, and is now illegible. 
It was copied, however, by Wharton before its defacement, and printed 
in Anglia Sacra, ii, pp. 628-40, and again, after Wharton's tran- 
script, in Brewer's Works of Giraldus, 1863, iii, pp. 377-404. Leland 
had made some extracts from the original, Collectanea, iv, p. 107. 
This Life is an expansion of that by Rhygyfarch. MS. Regis 13, C. i, 
gives the Miracula S. Davidis. 

3. A third, from a MS. at Utrecht, in A eta SS. Boll., March I, 
pp. 41-6. An abridgment of that by Rhygyfarch. 

4. An abridgment of Rhygyfarch's in John of Tynemouth's Col- 
lection (Tiberius E. i), taken into the Nova Legenda AnglicB of Cap- 
grave. The MSS. Lambeth 10-12 give the Historia Aurea of John 
-of Tynemouth. Vita S. Davidis is No. 12, fol. 250. 

5. A Welsh Life, in Jesus College, Oxford, MS. 119, generally 
known as Llyfr Ancr Llanddewi Brefi. This MS. was written in 1346 
by an anchorite of Llanddewi Brefi, in Cardiganshire, and has been 
published by the Clarendon Press, 1894, edited by Professors Morris 
Jones and Rhys. The Life is at pp. 105-118. A copy of it is also 
.given in Cambro-British Saints, pp. 102-16, from MS. Cotton Titus 
D. xxii (fifteenth century). There are copies of circa 1400 in Llan- 
stephan MSS. 4 and 27, and fifteenth century copies in Peniarth 
MSS. 15 and 27 (part ii). This Life again is an abridgment of 
Rhygyfarch's, but, like that by Giraldus, embodies material from 
other sources that are lost to us. 

Rhygyfarch was the son of Bishop Sulien, and belonged to a family 
of scholars and divines that was in great prominence during the 
-eleventh and twelfth centuries in the Diocese of S. David's. He is 
styled " the Wise," and he died at the age of 43 in 1097-9. He wrote 
his own name in the quasi-Latin form Ricemarchus, which yields 
in Welsh Rhygyfarch. 1 

When we come to enquire whence he drew his material, we are 
bound to admit that he had but little at his disposal beyond oral 
tradition and ballads relative to the Saint. The city and church 
of S. David's had been sacked repeatedly by the Northmen between 
795 and 1088. Two bishops met with violent deaths at their hands, 

1 The name occurs as Rigewarc in Annales Cambria, Rigyvarch in Geoffrey's 
Brut, Rychmarch in Brut y Tywysogion, and Rhyddmarch in the Gwentian Brut. 
Rhygyfarch is the correct form. For his eulogy see the Bruts, ed. Rhys and 
;Evans, pp. 273-4. 

S. Davia 287 

Morgeneu in 998, and Abraham in 1078. The latest visit, in 1088, 
saw the complete destruction of the Cathedral. We may well doubt 
whether any written documents relative to S. David had survived 
to the time of Rhygyf arch, 1 though he mentions certain extant docu- 
ments, " principally of his own city," which he professes to have 
drawn upon, " written with the old style of the ancients." 2 His 
style is rugged and unclassical, but he shows himself well acquainted 
with the localities. Giraldus professed chiefly to present him in a 
more scholarly dress. The latter Life is divided into ten lectiones, 
being intended to be read in Church on the Saint's festival. 

Taking Rhygyfarch's biography as giving a Life in chronological 
sequence of events is impossible. Tradition records incidents and 
events, whilst disfiguring them, but not their sequence. In giving 
the Life of the Saint we shall not, accordingly, follow the order pur- 
sued by Rhygyfarch, but that which seems to us to be better estab- 

The first difficulty we encounter relates to his ancestry on the 
father's side. The father was Sant, in Latin Sanctus. 3 The oldest 
MSS. differ among themselves as to Sant's father. Some give him 
as son of Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig (by Meleri, daughter of Bry- 
chan) ; others as son of Cedig ab Ceredig. The following authori- 
ties of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries give him 
as Ceredig : the Cognatio de Brychan (both versions) , the Progenies 
Keretic, Peniartb MSS. 12 and 27 (part ii), Hafod MS. 16, Jesus 
College MS. 20, and also the Latin Life by Giraldus and the Welsh 
Life. The following give Cedig : Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45, and 
Llanstephan MS. 28. Cedig might well represent a scribal contrac- 
tion for Ceredig ; but in genealogies a name is more likely to slip 
out, especially if it be that of a person who is inconsiderable and 
has left no mark, than that such a name should be inserted arbitrarily. 

Of Cedig nothing is known save that he was the father of SS. Afan 
Buellt and Doged. Afan's mother, according to the late lolo MSS.* 
documents, was Tegfedd, daughter of Tegid ab Cadell Deyrnllwg. 

1 In the Life of S. Caradog by Giraldus, it is said that for seven years the site 
of S. David's was left deserted, so that it took a priest several days to hack his 
way through the brambles that covered it. " Urbs Menevensis per piratas ab 
insulis Orchadum longis navibus advectos . . . crebra infestione per septennium 
fere desolata fuisset ; sacerdos quidam religiosus, spinas et tribulos extiipando. 
ad tumbam sancti confessoris David vix septimo die pervenit." 

2 Cambro-British Saints, p. 143. 

3 The correct Welsh form of the name of Dewi's father is Sant. Sanddef or 
Sandde, often met with, is very late, and is responsible for the Latin form Xan- 
thus ; but it is a totally distinct name. It is curious to observe that whilst 
Dewi's father's name should mean "a saint," i.e., "a monk," his mother's 
should also mean " a nun." 

4 Pp. no, 125. 

288 Lives of the British Saints 

In the Welsh Life, Dewi's genealogy is traced up to " Eugen, the 
son of Eudoleu, the son of the sister of the Virgin Mary, the mother 
of Jesus Christ." 1 

The Vita by Rhygyfarch opens with fabulous matter. 

Sant, King of Ceredigion, having enjoyed the royal government of 
the Ceredig nation, laid it aside so as to acquire a heavenly kingdom, 
in other words, embraced the ecclesiastical profession. Neverthe- 
less, he went a-hunting, and chased a stag beside the river Teifi, and 
found a swarm of bees in a tree at a place called Lin henlan, and he 
took the honey, and caught a fish in the river. By the advice of an 
angel he transmitted a portion of the stag, of the fish, and the honey- 
comb to the monastery of Maucan, " which to the present time is 
called the Monastery of the Deposit." And the angel further informed 
him that these gifts would symbolize the virtues of a son who not- 
withstanding that he had embraced the monastic life would be 
1 born to him. . The spot of the " Old Church " is about three miles 
east of Newcastle Emlyn. 

Rhygyfarch goes on to relate that thirty years before the birth 
of David, S. Patrick came to Vallis Rosina, or Glyn Rhosyn, in 
Menevia, and vowed that he would stay there ; but an angel appeared 
to him, and told him that it was God's will that he should cross over 
into Ireland, and become the apostle of that island, and further, 
that the settling at Glyn Rhosyn was reserved for one who would 
be born thirty years later. 2 In token that this was a true message, 
the angel showed to Patrick from a seat among the rocks, since called 
Eisteddfa Badrig, the entire island of Hibernia. 

This story is wholly fabulous. The vision and prophecy are intro- 
duced to prepare the reader for what is to follow, the superlative 
saintliness of Dewi. 

That Patrick did come to Porth Mawr, in Mynyw, is probable 
enough. The ruins of his Chapel mark the spot where he is tradi- 
tionally said to have embarked for Ireland. His seat was on Carn 
Llidi, the purple Cambrian rocks of which shoot above the heather 
slopes, and form a bold feature in the landscape. Hence, at sun- 
down, the mountains of Wicklow are distinctly visible, and this simple 
fact has been expanded by the legend writer into a vision of the whole 
of Ireland. 

The monastery of Maucan or Mancen was at Ty Gwyn, on the side 

1 In Rhygyfarch (p. 144) it is Eudolen, the son of Eugen, the son of the sister 
of Mary. 

2 The reception of S. Carannog in Ireland is dated similarly thirty years before 
the birth of S. David (see p. 79). 

S. David 289 

of Carn Llidi, and there till a few years ago were the remains of a 
rude early church or chapel surrounded by an extensive cemetery. 
The tombs are formed of rude slate slabs set up perpendicularly and 
each covered with a slab. No inscription has been found, but the place 
has never been explored, only such graves opened and destroyed as 
interfered with the tillage. 

The monastery was probably double, or rather it was a school to 
which were admitted pupils of both sexes. Thus it was that Non 
Nonna, or Nonnita (Melaria, according to Breton tradition), was in it, 
not perhaps as a monialis, but as a pupil. But, possibly enough, 
her name has led to the assumption that she was a nun. 

No deductions can be drawn from the statement that David was 
born thirty years after the visit of Patrick, for the story is obviously 
introduced into the Life in order to enhance the glory of David, for 
whom was reserved that which was denied to Patrick. 

Rhygyfarch had a peculiar notion of inspiration, for according to 
him it was " virtus divina " which led Sant to violate the virgin Non. 
According to him, moreover, she " nee antea, nee postea virum 
agnovit, sed in castitate mentis et corporis perseverans, fidelissimam 
duxit vitam."" This clashes with Irish accounts. In the Treatise 
on the Mothers of the Saints, Mor, mother of S. Eltin of Kinsale, is 
represented as the sister of S. David, as also Magna, wife of Ere and 
mother of Setna, Gobain and Maelteoc. This latter may be identical 
with Eltin, and if so, Magna is the same as Mor. 

Non was the daughter of Cynyr of " Caer Gawch in Mynyw. " 
Neither Cynyr nor Caer Gawch is mentioned by David's biographers, 
and all our information respecting them is derived from the late 
documents printed in the lolo MSS. 1 According to these Cynyr 
was the son of Gwyndeg ab Seithenin, and the husband of Anna, 
daughter of Gwrthefyr Fendigaid (Vortimer). He was the father, 
besides Non, of Guistlianus or Gwestlan, a pre-Davidian bishop in 
Menevia, Sadwrn Hen, Gwen, the mother of Cybi, and Banhadlen, 
the mother of Ailbe. Caer Gawch is therein identified with Pebidiog, 
but it is rather strange that no trace of either Caer Gawch or Cynyr 
has been found in Dewisland. The name Cynyr is equated with 

1 The documents printed therein state (pp. 82, 106, 114, 124, 151) that Cynyr 
" gave all his allodial lands, viz., Pebydiog and its dependencies," to God and 
Dewi, and that he " assisted " Dewi in founding Bangor Mynyw, which accommo- 
dated 500 saints. We are also told that the district was called Pebydiog " be- 
cause Dewi was Pope of that district." This is inadmissible, as the name is a 
derivative of Pebyd, apparently a man's name, and not from Papa. Pebydiog 
as the deanery name has, in modern times, been supplanted by Dewisland. The 
cantred of Pebydiog comprised the commotes of Mynyw, Pencaer, and Pebydiog. 
(Y Cymmrodor, ix, p. 330.) 


390 Lives of the British Saints 

the Irish Conaire ; and the lesser Dyfed of those days was in all prob- 
ability strongly Goidelic, for it was not ruled over by the Cuneddan 
family. Thus, through his mother, Dewi must have had Goidelic 
blood in his veins, whilst on his father's side he was Brythonic, and 
allied to the powerful Cuneddan dynasty. 

Rhygyfarch gives us another story, also told for the purpose of 
enhancing the glory of his hero. One day Gildas came to the church 
of Ty Gwyn, 1 and he endeavoured to preach to the people, but found 
his tongue tied. Unable to account for this, he bade the congrega- 
tion leave. " The people having gone out, the mother remained 
concealed in a corner." Then Gildas again tried to speak, and still 
found himself tongue-tied. Then he cried with a loud voice, " I 
adjure thee, if any one lies hid, that thou showest thyself openly." 
Thereupon Non, who was concealed between the wall and the par- 
tition that divided the church in two, the males on one side, and the 
females on the other, rose up and showed herself, and left the church. 
At once Gildas found that his faculty of speech had returned, and 
he informed the congregation, when recalled, that the reason of his 
finding himself unable to address them, was the presence in the church 
of the unborn David. " Farewell, brothers and sisters," said he ; 
" I cannot dwell here any longer on account of the son of this nun, 
because to him is delivered the monarchy over all men in this island ; 
it is therefore necessary for me to go to some other island, and leave 
all Britain to this child." 

Rhygyfarch has fused two stories into one. Precisely the same 
story is told in the Life of S. Ailbe. He came to a certain place on 
his way to Ireland from the Continent, and was unable to proceed 
with the Mass. " Then Ailbe looking round the church, saw a cer- 
tain pregnant woman, and said, ' You cannot offer, because this 
woman bears in her womb David of Kilmuin, a bishop, and a priest 
must not celebrate before a bishop without his consent.' " 2 

Gildas was certainly older than S. David, but he cannot possibly 
have been over twenty-four when David was born. 

But about the year 527 he was in Pebydiog and then did attempt 
to wrest from David the authority over the monks in that district, 
as we shall see in the sequel. Rhygyfarch took the story of Ailbe 's 
turning Non out of the church for her incontinence, gave it a com- 
plexion honourable to his hero, and fused with this the discomfiture 
of Gildas at his attempt to supplant David in Menevia. Geoffrey 

1 In Giraldus (Works, iii, p. 381), the church is called " Kanmorva (read 
Kairmorva), i.e., urbs maritima vel castrum." 

2 Vita SS. Hibern. in Cod. Sal., col. 245. 

S. David 


of Monmouth knew the story, not as told of Gildas, but of Ailbe, for 
he says : " Menevia pallio urbis Legionum induetur, et pr Dedicator 
Hybernise propter infantem in utero crescentem obmutescet." 1 

These tales, however much disfigured by legend, have generally 
some basis in fact, and here the fact may have been that Ailbe, scan- 
dalized at the lapse of his aunt from virtue, excommunicated her, 
or at all events refused to proceed with the Mass till she left the 
church. When Non and David came to be esteemed as Saints, it 
was no longer possible to tell the tale as it actually occurred, and it was 
accordingly altered. 

Non now retired from the monastery of Maucan to a cottage on 
the cliffs beyond Bryn y Garn, above a little bay that now bears her 
name, and to which the purple cliffs fall precipitously. Here was 
a spring, and here she remained till she brought forth her child. 
Rhygyfarch says that there was a " certain man in the district, 
accounted a tyrant," who sought the life of the young child, and 
Non had to fly to this place for concealment from him. The man 
who was a tyrannus in the district was her own father Cynyr, who 
may very possibly not have relished the scandal in his family. 

The child was born in the midst of a violent storm. " The mother, 
when bringing forth, had a certain stone near her, against which, 
when in pain, she pressed her hands ; whereby the mark was left 
on it as an impression upon wax." Moreover, the stone against 
which she leaned was split by lightning, and one portion leaped 
over her and planted itself at her feet. " In that place a church is 
built, in the foundation of whose altar the stone lies covered." The 

[ ruined Church of S. Non still remains, and is of great interest. It 
points approximately north and south, and is rectangular, but not 

V exactly so. The substructure is of rude masses of stone put together 
without mortar, and may well be of the fifth century. In mediaeval 
times it was converted from a house into a chapel, and a super- 
structure of stone and mortar was raised on the old foundations, 
and as the angles on one side were not exactly rectangular, the 
mediaeval building was carried as far as possible on the old wall, 
but where that wall did not serve it was broken down and replaced 
by another. 2 On the east side is an early incised cross. The finger 
marks of S. Non on the stone were, almost certainly, an Ogam in- 
scription, which Rhygyfarch did not understand. An exploration 
of the chapel was made in the hopes of recovering this stone, but it 
was found that it had been removed, at some time unknown, from 

1 Hist. Brit., via, ,c. 3 ; Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 145. 

2 " Exploration of S. Non's Chapel," Arch. Camb., 1898, pp. 345-8. 

292 Lives of the British Saints 

the floor of the footpace on which the altar stood. The marks of 
removal were clearly distinguishable. 

The Holy Well, beside the chapel, still exists, and the water still 
flows. Bishop Ailbe, who resided at his llan near Solva, and who 
had refused to say Mass with Non in the Church, came over and 
baptized her child in a spring at Forth Clais. The spring is still 
there, with foundations of a chapel above it. He gave to the infant 
the name of David. 1 

Rhygyfarch calls the bishop Helue. 2 In the Life of S. Ailbe, it 
is said that Sant had the child baptized. " Pater filium suum ipsum 
David obtulit sancto Albeo in eternum," implying that he handed 
him over to be fostered and brought up in the ecclesiastical profession 
by Ailbe. In the Life of S. Colman of Dromore it is implied that 
he baptized David, having first resuscitated him, born dead. 3 But 
this is unsubstantiated. 

David was sent at a suitable age to be instructed at Yr Henllwyn 
or Vetus Rubus, " the Old Bush," the same place as TvLwyn, over 
which now Paulinus was abbot. The place is known by a variety 
of names, and is confounded with Glyn Rhosyn, the Alun Vale where 
is now the Cathedral, and to which David subsequently moved the 
college and abandoned the old monastic site, when its ruins acquired 
the name of " the Old Church." 4 It is frequently mentioned in 

1 S. David's name in Welsh is almost invariably Dewi, but in the Welsh 
Life Dewi and Dafydd are used indifferently. The form Dewi stands for Dewidd, 
which actually occurs in one Cambridge MS. of his Life (see Hardy, Descriptive 
Catalogue, i, pt. i, p. 119). The loss of final dd is rather a feature of the Pem- 
brokeshire dialect ; cf. newi and mwni for newydd and mynydd. S. David was a 
Pembrokeshire man to his very name. Dafydd, which is later and not phono- 
logically correct, was the most common Welsh name in use in the Middle Ages, 
leuan coming next. Taffy seems to be an English mimicking of Dafydd. Gwas 
Dewi (his servant) occurs as a man's name a translation or imitation of a well- 
known Goidelic formula, of probably pre-Celtic origin. Like several other 
Welsh personal names, Dewi occurs as the name of a stream which runs past 
Mydrim Church (S. David), Carmarthenshire. In Brittany he is called Divy, 
Ivy, and Avit. He is usually " styled " in Welsh Dewi Sant. (See i, p. 287.) 

2 Rees incorrectly prints Belue. In the Life of S. David, a MS. that belonged 
to David Routh, Bishop of Ossory, given by Colgan, A eta SS. Hibern., p. 425, 
the name is Helvaeus, and jElveus in the Life by Giraldus Cambrensis. 

3 Acta SS. Hibern. in Cod. Sal., col. 832. 

4 See a paper by Mrs. Dawson in Arch. Camb., 1898, pp. 1-20. Some ridicu- 
lous derivations of Menevia are given in Browne Willis, 5. David's, pp. 50-1. 
S. David's is generally called to-day by the Welsh Ty Ddewi (his House). Fenton 
(Pembrokeshire, 1903, p. 186) says that the Welsh name of S. Dogwell's in Dewis- 
land was Llan Ty Ddewi. It would appear to have been also the Henlle 
Dewi of the old parish lists. With Ty Ddewi, the name and mutation, compare 
Ty Feuno, Ty Gustenin, Ty Illtyd, Ty Dduw, and Ty Ddafydd. We have it 
also in Irish; e.g., Teach-Moling, now S. Mullins. 

S. David 293 

the Lives of the Irish Saints as the monastery of Rosnat, with, some- 
times the alias Alba. Rosnat stands for Rhosnant, a name convert- 
ible with Vallis Rosina or Glyn Rhosyn ; and Rhosan or Rhoson 
is still the name of a farm in the district. 

The name Alba, or rather Alba Domus, is the Latin rendering 
of Ty Gwyn, which is the name of the farmhouse on its site, and 
it was in the " White Church," as we learn from the Bukez Santez 
Nonn, that Gildas was supposed to have been silenced because of 
the presence of the pregnant Non. Vetus Rubus is the Latin render- 
ing of Hen Meneu (Old Menevia), in modern Welsh Hen Fynyw, 
which distinguishes it from the Mynyw of to-day. It is a totally 
different place from that of the same name in Cardiganshire, with 
which it is sometimes confounded. The Irish equivalent for Mynyw 
is Kil Muine, of the latter part of which Rubus is given as a transla- 
tion. In the Annales Cambria (s.a. 601) the place is mentioned 
under the peculiar form Moni ludeorum. 

On the slope of Cam Llidi, above Forth Mawr and the chapel of 
-S. Patrick, stood " the Old Bush," probably of thorns, where the stone 
monastery was erected, as tradition said, by Patrick, and then it 
was whitewashed and acquired the name of Alba Domus, or Ty 
Gwyn. Patrick had placed over it his fellow-worker Mancen or 
Maucan, and purposed, we may well suppose, that it should become 
A nursery of missionaries for Ireland. 1 No doubt this Ultima Thule 
of South Wales was chosen on account of its accessibility from Ireland. 

But Mancen had passed away, and the White House was ruled by 
Paulinus, " a disciple of Germanus, a bishop, who in a certain island 
Jed a life agreeable to God." 

" And David grew up full of grace and lovely to Be looked at. 
And he learned there the rudirnents, the psalms, the lessons of the 
whole year, and the Mass and Communion (sinaxiri) ; and there his 
fellow disciples saw a dove with a golden beak playing about his 
lips, teaching him, and singing the hymns of God." 

The Life of S. David by Rhygyfarch says that David was first at 
"' the Old Bush," and afterwards with Paulinus. But this latter 
was head of a Ty Gwyn which has been supposed to be that ar Ddf. 
There is, however, no evidence that this was a monastery before 
Norman times, and we may conclude that Paulinus taught, after the 
-death of Maucan, at the Ty Gwyn in Menevia. 2 According to the Life 

1 The angel says to Sant : " Partem piscis et cervique custodienda filio 
^ex te nascituro transmitte ad Maucani monasterium " (Cambro-British Saints, 

*> "7). 

2 The legend that S. David was educated under Paulinus at "Whitland is 

294 Lives of the British Saints 

of S. Teilo, that Saint was a disciple of Paulinus along with David, 1 
and they became much attached to each other. A pretty story is 
told of David whilst with his master. Paulinus suffered from in- 
flammation of the eyes, and David stroked them. As the eyes soon 
after became better, Paulinus was pleased to attribute it to the touch 
of the innocent boy. 

With this master David remained ten years. The Life of S. Paul of 
Leon asserts that he, Samson and David were together disciples of S. 
Illtyd, as well as Gildas. 2 In the Life of Gildas no mention is made 
of David as a fellow disciple, nor is David mentioned as a pupil in 
that of Illtyd; and we can hardly accept this unsupported statement. 

After the period spent in his training David started as a founder 
himself. " He founded twelve monasteries to the praise of God. 
First going to Glastonbury, he erected a church there, and then he 
went to Bath (in the Welsh Life Yr Enaint Twymyn, ' the Hot Bath '), 
and there by blessing a deadly water he rendered it salutary for 
the washing of bodies, and communicated to it perpetual heat." 

Bath hot springs, it need hardly be said, had existed in Roman 
times, and were in resort long before David was born. 

" And he went to Croulan and Repetun, and afterwards to Colguan 
(Colvan,Collan), and to Glascum,and he had with him a double-headed 
altar (altare anceps). Then he founded the monastery of Leominster, 
and built a church at Raglan in Gwent, and founded a monastery 
in Gower, at a place called Llangyfelach, in which he afterwards 
placed the altar sent by Pepiau . . . also Boducat and Maitiun 
(Maitrun, Nailtrum), two Saints in Kidwelly, gave him their hands. 
These places having been founded according to custom, and vessels 
of canonical order placed in them, and a rule of cenobial use (habitus), 
he went to the place whence he had formerly departed, and 
returned to the Old Bush." 

This, for the most part, is as untrue as that he converted the poison- 
ous springs of Bath into hot and healing waters. 

Apparently, Rhygyfarch is attempting to show that the prophecy 
he had put into the mouth of Gildas was now fulfilled, that David was 

based on fourteenth and fifteenth century MSS. of his Life, which describe 
Paulinus as residing in insula Withlandi ; other MSS. give in insula Quit, whilst 
the Life by Giraldus gives Vecta Insula ( = the Isle of Wight !). The Withlandi 
and Guit of these late MSS. are obviously meant to be a sort of translation of the 
Lantquendi of the oldest MSS. The copyist (circa 1200) of what is perhaps the 
only full version preserved in Cotton Vesp. A. xiv known of Rhygyfarch's Life 
merely describes the place as in insula quadam. The Welsh Life mentions no 
place at all (Owen, Pembrokeshire, ii, pp. 425-6). 

1 Vita S. Teliaui in Book of Llan Ddv, p. 99. 

* Vita S. Pauli Leonensis, ed. Dom Plaine, Analect. Boll., 1882, c. 8. 

L-, Lsff^^ ^"^ O^^f^ , 

t<> /r*" // 

-*V^ *^ U 

$. David 295 

/ to have " all Britain." He therefore converts him into the founder 
of Croyland, Repton, Coldingham, and Leominster. Croyland, we 
know, was founded by S. GuTriIac~in 716, Repton was a nunnery estab- 
lished by the Mercian kings about 660, and Coldingham was called 
into existence by S. Ebba in 650. Leominster owed its origin to 
Roger de Montgomery in the time of William the Conqueror, and 
there is not a particle of evidence that these foundations occupied 
old abandoned Celtic sites. Indeed, it would have been impossible 
for David to have visited them in the sixth century, when the terri- 
tories on which they were were in the hands of the Angles and Saxons. 
Rhygyfarch has confounded times in the narrative. 

What probably took place was that Paulinus retired, and Dewi, 
as of the founder's kin, succeeded him. Then Gildas appeared on 
the scene, about the year 527. He was in quest of recruits for his 
monastery at Ruys, and finding the Old Bush monastery without a 
head other than Dewi, who claimed it by virtue of his being of the 
seed of the founder, but who was still young he cannot have been 
much over twenty-seven Gildas, with characteristic overbearing > 
sought to turn him out and to seize on the government of the Domus- 
Alba for himself, and either make it his head establishment, or, more 
probably, a feeder and daughter-house to his great settlement in 
Armorica. Finnian of Clonard was called in to interfere, when Cadoc 
declined to be mixed up in the matter, and Finnian pronounced in 
favour of David. 1 He could hardly do other. Cynyr, if we may 
trust the lolo MSS., had given all his possessions to the Church, 
and it would be against all Celtic ideas of justice to dispossess the 
grandson for the sake of a stranger. 

But David did leave his monastery for a while, having placed his 
uncle Guistlianus in charge of it. Menevia is a promontory thrust 
forth into the sea, and walled off from the rest of the world by the 
Pressilly Mountains. It was not a place where he could collect about 
him many disciples. He must needs have feeders elsewhere, in more 
populous districts. Accordingly he departed. Whether it was now 
or at a subsequent time that he established some of his many churches 
in South Wales we do not know. * 

According to Gwynfardd, a Welsh writer of the early thirteenth 
century, David was for a while in Cornwah 1 , where he endured per- 
secution at the hands of some ill-disposed woman, and he adds that 
he endangered the sceptre of that realm. 2 That David did visit Dam- 

1 Life of S. Finnian in Book of Lismore, Anecd. Oxon., pp. 222-3. 

2 Myv. Arch., p. 194. William of Worcester is the sole authority for the 
statement that David was born in Cornwall. 

2 9 6 Lives of the British Saints 

nonia seems pretty certain, and it is possible that it was at this time. 
His aunt, S. Gwen, was married to Selyf the king, who resided where 
is now Callington between the Lynher and Tamar. 1 He may have 
visited them to extract some donations from them. A series 
of churches dedicated to him possibly marks his course through 
Devon, Thelbridge, Exeter, and Ashprington. In Cornwall he is 
patron of Davidstow or Dewstowe. 

On his return to the Old Bush he found Guistlianus - still there. 
David had come to the conclusion that the site was undesirable. 
He said to him : " From this place scarce one in a hundred will 
go to the Kingdom of God. I know another spot whence few will 
go to hell ; for every one who shall be buried in that cemetery in 
sound faith will obtain mercy." 

This is quite in accordance with Irish mode of thought. David 
may have put his proposition in this form, but his motives were- much 
more reasonable. The Old Bush was easy of access from Forth Mawr, 
the only safe harbour on that rocky headland. At any day a pirate 
vessel might run in there, and in a quarter of an hour destroy the 
monastery on the slope above it, and cut off escape in the direction 
of the mainland by sending men up the little valley of the stream 
that discharges into the sea at Forth Mawr. A more unsafe site for 
a monastery in those perilous times could hardly have been selected. 
It was expedient, David argued, for the brethren to go further inland, 
and to settle in a spot concealed from the sea, and less exposed to 
the storms. 

Now the river Alun or Alan runs through a deep cleft in the rocks, 
that expands at one spot, where is marsh and meadow. 

Whether Guistlian were convinced and persuaded to abandon the Old 
Bush, we are not told. The old site was now given up, and David and 
his disciples Aidan, Teilo and Ismael, with other unnamed disciples> 
migrated to the new locality. This was Glyn Rhosyn, in the valley 
of the HodnantvL) 

They settled there in the evening, and lighted a fire. Some way 
off a prong of igneous rock stands up, commanding the Alun valley. 
It is one of those masses, nuclei of hard substance, left, when the 

1 Vita S. Kebii in Cambro-British Saints, p. 183. 

2 Rhygyfarch says (ibid., p. 124) that he was David's patruelis, cousin; and 
Giraldus (Opera, iii, p. 386), avunculus. The Welsh Life makes him " a brother 
in the faith " (brawd ffydd). In reality his maternal uncle. 

3 Giraldus says (I tin. Camb., ii, c. i) : " The spot where the Church of S. 
David stands is called the Vale of Roses, which ought rather to be named the 
Vale of Marble, since it abounds with the one and by no means with the other." 
Rosina does not derive from roses, but from rhos, a moor. 

S. David 297 

glacial period ended, which had not been fretted down by the ice. 
This prong had its summit walled about and formed into a strong- 
hold. It goes by the name of Clegyr Fwya (the Rock of Boia), 1 
and it takes its name from an Irish freebooter who had settled there, 
and who terrorized the neighbourhood. 2 

' In the morning he saw the smoke of David's fire rising from the 
meadow by the river in the ravine. His wife, a veritable shrew, 
ascended the rock on which Boia was standing, and as he seemed 
to be indifferent, she goaded him to interference, bade him go to 
the spot, and expel those who had thus taken possession. Boia 
went, but David easily pacified him, and the Irish freebooter con- 
sented that he should have and hold the patch of sheltered ground 
in the valley bottom. 3 Boia's wife was highly incensed when she 
found how complaisant her husband had been, and when she further 
learned that the settlers were monks, who had migrated from ' r the 
Old Bush," she was the more resolved to rid the neighbourhood of 

Accordingly she sent her maids to bathe in the stream close to 
where the saints were. Some of the monks complained to David 
that this was an intolerable nuisance, and was likely to continue, 
and, if repeated every day, would render the place unendurable. But 
David bade them disregard the immodest girls, who would soon tire 
of their bathing if no notice were taken of them. 

As Boia refused to be egged on to molest the monks, and as if 
we may credit the account of the incident in the Life of S. Teilo 
he was even so won over .as to consent to be baptized, the wife re- 
solved on having recourse to her gods, the Siddi, or underground 
divinities, and to propitiate them with a sacrifice. 

She invited her step-daughter, named Dunawd, one warm day, 

1 In Rhygyfarch and Capgrave he is called Baia ; in Giraldus, Boia ; in the 
Welsh Life, Boya ; and in John of Tynemouth's Historia Aurea, in the Lambeth 
Library, Beias. The name occurs in the story of the Deisi in the Book of the 
Dun Cow. Clegyr Fwya is sometimes wrongly explained as " the biggest rock." 

a Scottus in Rhygyfarch, Yscot in the Welsh Life, and Gwyddel in Gwynfardd. 
The Life of S. Teilo calls him a Pict. " In illorum sanctorum diebus, quidam 
populi . . . qui Picti dicebantur, innumera classe ad Britanniam devenerunt 
et capti amore terra? potiundae propter bonarum rerum copiam . . . magis 
fraude quam viribus Britannos invaserunt, et in eos miram tirannidem ad tempus 
exercuerunt. . . . Cumque quidam illius nefariae gentis princeps trucidando 
miseros incolas ... a navalibus (ubi) appulerant usque Minuensem civitatem 
processisset, ibi constitit ibique suum palatium construxit " (Book of Llan Ddv, 
pp. 99-100). Boia is called a magus, which is the usual Latin rendering of the 
Irish for Druid. 

3 " Deditque Baia eadem die David agio totam Rosinam Vallem, perpetuo 
possidendam " (Cambro-British Saints, p. 125). 

298 Lives of the British Saints 

to descend into the hazel-brake in Glyn Alun to pick nuts, and where, 
she intimated, she could examine her head. 1 When the girl laid 
her head in the step-mother's lap, the wretched woman shore off her 
hair. This was tantamount to adoption ; and then, with a knife, she 
cut the girl's throat, and poured out her innocent blood to the gods. 

This did not avail, and the woman, frightened lest Boia should 
punish her for the murder of his daughter, ran away, and what be- 
came 01 her is not recorded. She probably purposed absenting her- 
self till her husband's resentment had abated ; but circumstances 
occurred that made a return impossible. During the ensuing night 
Lisci (Leschi), son of Paucairt, another Irish pirate, entered the little 
port that now bears his name, stole in the dark up the crag, and find- 
ing the entrance to the fort unguarded, burst in with his men, and 
slew Boia in his bed. 

The Life of S. David says that fire fell from heaven and consumed 
the castle. This is a figurative way of saying that Lisci, after having 
pillaged the stronghold, set fire to the wattled huts within the walls. 

As Clegyr Fwya has been very carefully explored, it may be as well 
here to sum up the results. It must, be premised that the original 
surface within the camp is 4 ft. 6 in. below the present level, and 
that the ruined walls still rise some 2 ft. 6 in. above the turf. The 
walls were constructed without mortar, and were faced externally 
with large slabs set on end. The entrance was protected by horn- 
works, now destroyed, but visible when Basil Jones and Freeman 
wrote their History of S. David's. It was to the south. A consider- 
able amount of rude pottery, unornamented, was discovered, as well 
as several hearths. No metal was found, but innumerable sling- 
stones, and apparently the place had at some time been attacked 
from the north. Numerous round stones and long water-worn pebbles 
were unearthed, all suitable as missiles. There were no indications 
of an extensive conflagration. The pottery was of local make, of 
the glacial clay of the meadow below the rocks, and was rude. There 
is a second camp, dominating the Alun valley, at Penllan, but 
its character is distinctively later. It was thrown up by Northmen. 
The Life of S. David speaks of Boia standing on the rock and sur- 
veying the valley. There is rock at Clegyr Fwya, none at Penllan. 

Dunawd, daughter of Boia, would seem to have been regarded 
as a martyr, although unbaptized. Rhygyfarch says : "A clear 
fountain arose in the place where her blood flowed to the ground, 
which abundantly cured many diseases of mankind, which place 

1 " Tribue caput tuum in sinu meo ; volo enim cirros tuos leniter investigare " 
(Cambro-British Saints, p. 126). In the Welsh Life Boia's wife is called Satrapa. 

S. David 2 99 

the common people call the Martyrium of Dunawd, to this day." J 
The Welsh Life says it was called Ffynnon Dunawd. 2 

David was now able to proceed with the construction of his mon- 
astery. It was probably of stone, as no timber of any size grows 
in the neighbourhood. Gwestlan seems now to have joined his kins- 
man, for he is credited with having called forth a miraculous spring,, 
as did also Teilo. " And cripples, and blind, and diseased persons 
have obtained cures from these two fountains." 3 

At what time David was summoned to undertake the organiza- 
tion of the Church in the southern portion of Demetia, we do not 
know. Urien Rheged had expelled the Goidels from Gower, and 
the district between the Tawe and the Towy, 4 and it was when they 
were cleared out that David went there and founded churches. His 
presence in these parts we know of through the Life of S. Aidan or 
Maidoc, and from the fact of there being churches there bearing his 

David devoted himself wholly to prayer, study, and to the train- 
ing of his disciples. Of, these he had some who became distinguished, 
He also received visits from many Irish Saints as they passed through 
on their way to the Continent, or on their return from it. Such 
were S. Scuthin of Sliab Mairge, S. Barri or Finbar of Cork, and S. 
Senan of Iniscathy, with whom he made a contract of brotherhood. 
Cybi also visited him on his way to Ireland, and Constantine, the 
Cornish king, is said to have gone for a while to the Menevian mon- 
astery after his conversion. That David's visitors were not always 
agreeable may well be suspected. An Irish Saint came there. He 
was of good birth, and of saintly attainments, and David offered 
him a cordial welcome, and detailed a boy to wait upon him during 
his stay. The holy man was exacting and peppery, and tried the lad's 
patience, so that one day, under provocation, the lad muttered some 
impertinent remark behind his back. The fiery Irishman turned 
and knocked him down ; and his fist was so heavy that the boy died 
of concussion of the brain two days after. David was highly and 
justly incensed. The Irish Saint endeavoured to exculpate him- 
self by alleging the provocation offered. Finally a compromise 
was patched up. He undertook thenceforth to assume the dead 
lad's name, so that some of his merits might reflect on the murdered 
youth. Thenceforth he was known as Laicinn, or, with the affec- 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 126. 

2 Ibid., p. 107. s Ibid., p. 108. 

* Sometimes their expulsion is attributed to Cunedda and his sons. 
sen, Chronica Minora, iii, p. 156; lolo MSS., pp. 70-1. 

300 Lives of the British Saints 

tionate prefix given to the boy, Mo-lacca. By this he is known, 
what his baptismal appellation was is not recorded. 1 

Domnoc, or Modomnoc, another Irishman, was for a long time 
with David. He cultivated flowers in the monastic garden, and 
attended to the bees. When about to return to his native land, as 
, he mounted the boat at Forth Mawr, the bees swarmed and settled 
on the boat. So Modomnoc took the swarm with him to the Emerald 
Isle, and it is said that these were the first bees introduced into Ire- 
land. 2 Later on, Molacca, by fair means or foul, got hold of this 
hive and carried it off to his own monastery, which thenceforth re- 
ceived the name of Lann Beachaire, or " The Church of the Bees."^ 

This Modomnoc was brother of S. Domangart, and son of Saran, 
fourth in descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages. He died at the 
close of the sixth century. 

That all in David's monastery was not " sweetness and light " 
may be inferred from the fact of his steward attempting to murder 
David's favourite disciple Aidan, and from the cellarer trying to 
poison David himself. The Penitential Code of David shows that 
much wild blood was to be found in his and other monastic settle- 
ments of the period. Severe penalties had to be adjudged in cases 
of drunkenness, murder, and attempted murder, and other gross crimes. 
Kissing a girl had to be expiated by three days' penance. 3 But we 
shall have more to say on the Penitential Code later. 

Except when compelled by unavoidable necessity, David kept 
aloof from all temporal concerns. He did not attend the Synod of 
Llanddewi Brefi when convened by Dyfrig. As no agreement could 
be arrived at relative to matters in dispute, Paulinus, with whom 
David had studied, advised that he should be sent for, and Dyfrig 
.and Deiniol went in quest of him, and insisted on his attending the 
Council. On his arrival, David found the Synod gathered in a very 
incommodious place, the old Roman station of Loventium, and by 
his advice it was removed a little distance to Llanddewi Brefi, where 
was a mound, upon which the speakers could stand and be heard by 
those whom they desired to address. Such, we may take it, is the 
meaning of the legend which represents David having mounted a 
heap of clothes, whereupon the earth swelled under it into a mount. 

1 Vita S. Molacci in Colgan's Acta SS. Hib., p. 150. In the original it is not 
said that the Irishman killed the boy by a blow, but that the boy was killed by 
the judgment of God for having used impertinent language. But the wrath and 
resentment of David clearly show that the Irishman had actually killed the boy. 

* Vita S. Modomnoci in Colgan's Acta SS. Hibern., p. 336; Vita S. David 
dn Cambro-British Saints, p. 134. 

3 Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., i, p. 126. 

S. David 301 

Rhygyfarch and Giraldus both misrepresent the Council as one 
convened for the suppression of the Pelagian heresy. But it was 
really called together to enact canons of discipline for the clergy 
and laity. The canons have been preserved in a MS. in the Biblio- 
theque Nationale at Paris. 1 

A second Council was held later, the Synod of Victory, in 569,. 
according to the Annales Cambrice, but, as we have shown in deal- 
ing with S. Cadoc, the date of the Council of Brefi must be put before 
the outbreak of the Yellow Plague, probably in 544 or 545. 

The canons passed at these synods reveal a very low state of morals 
among clergy and laity. It may be as well here to quote the weighty 
words of Professor Hugh Williams on Penitentials. " The Church,, 
for purposes of discipline, had developed various modes of correction 
in the case of lapses into sin, as well as of reconciliation by absolution. 
As we approach the sixth century, we find a long development of 
very varying procedures along independent lines. ... In one 
point, however, there seems to have been universal agreement, viz.,. 
that acts of contrition and confession, together with the reconcilia- 
tion which followed, were purely ecclesiastical. While, for the most 
part, such acts of penance were, in the West, not public but private,, 
they certainly were subject to the judgment of the bishop ; he, or 
the presbyter representing him, was always the ministrant. Yet 
in Britain and Ireland there had grown up a different system ; the 
disciplinary measures were conducted from the cloister. Different 
sins began to be catalogued after the manner of penal enactments ,. 
with the corresponding penance to be undergone before reconcilia- 
tion. . . . Books containing such rules, by which sins and the 
appointed penances were thus arranged in order, were called Peni- 
tentials. They seem to have had their origin in Britain and Ireland 
but, after the seventh century, they are found both in the English 

1 In MSS. Lat. 3182, printed in Haddan and Stubbs, i, pp. 117-8 ; Wasser- 
schleben, Bussordnung. der Abendldnd. Kirche, pp. 103-4. Also some Canons 
attributed to S. David, De libra Davidis, Haddan and Stubbs, i, pp. 118-20. As 
Rhygyfarch admits that all copies of the Acts of these Councils had been de- 
stroyed at S. David's, his statement that the Synods were convened against 
Pelagianism was merest guesswork. Dewi's so-called " Sermon " or " Prophecy," 
delivered at the Brefi Synod before " 22,000 hearers," occurs, with variations,, 
in several Welsh MSS., and has been printed, e.g., in Trysorfa Gwybodaeth, 1770, 
ii, pp. 79-80, and Y Seven Ogleddol, 1835, i, p. 68. It is a late tract concerned 
with neither Pelagianism nor penitential regulations, but is a " prophecy " of 
abomination of desolation, which would be set right by the Reformation. See 
Myv. Arch., pp. 134, 755, for the late mediaeval poem referring to the Synod 
beginning : 

" Pan oedd Saint Senedd Brefi 
Yn ol gwiw bregeth Dewi." 

302 Lives of the British Saints 

Church and in Churches far and wide over the Continent. . . . 
To me, these Penitentials are reminders of the fierce conflict waged 
against the wild immorality of olden times : a conflict which, with 
many failures, proved that the clumsy method of these rules turned 
out to be for good." l 

One biographer of S. David could not withhold his hand from 
a piece of characteristic bombast in his description of the closing 
of the Synod of Brefi. It was unanimously decreed that " as 
God has set a governor in the sea over all kinds of fishes, and a 
governor on the earth over the birds, so has He given David to 
be a governor over men in this world. In the same manner as 
God set Matthew in Judea, and Luke in Alexandria, and Christ in 
Jerusalem, and Peter in Rome, and Martin in France, and Samson in 
Brittany, so has He given S. David to be in the isle of Britain . . . 
and on that day all the Saints of this island, and all the kings, fell on 
their knees to do homage to David, and they granted to him to be 
the sovereign over the Saints of the island of Britain." 2 

The account of these Synods, as given by David's biographers, is 
purely fabulous, written with the object of establishing the apocryphal 
supremacy of the Saint and his see over the entire British Church. 

The date of the Council of Brefi has been already considered. We 
have given reasons for supposing that it was assembled before the 
outbreak of the Yellow Plague. Cadoc was highly incensed at the 
Synod being assembled whilst he was out of the island, and he 
especially resented the prominent part taken in it by David. He 
-was with difficulty brought to a better mind by Finnian of Clonard, 
who died in 548 of the Yellow Plague. 

The terrible Pestis Flava broke out in 547. It took its name from 
the yellow and bloodless appearance of those who were attacked 
by it. Its appearance was heralded by a watery column, with its 
head in the clouds, that trailed over the earth and discharged heavy 
rain. 3 This had nothing actually to do with the disorder, but it 
was supposed to be its originator. The physicians knew not how 

1 Gildas, Cymmrodorion Record Series, 1901, pp. 272-3. 

2 Llyfr Ancr, p. 115 ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 113. Rhygyfarch is not so 
profane as this. Giraldus (I tin. Camb., i, c. 5), in his ambition to get an Arch- 
bishopric of S. David's for himself, supplements this. "The Archbishop Dubricius 
-ceded his honours to David of Menevia, the metropolitan see being translated 
from Caerleon to Menevia, according to the prophecy of Merlin Ambrosius, 
' Menevia pallio urbis Legionum induetur.' " The " re-establishment " of 
S. David's as a metropolitan see was one of the proposals for the pacification of 
Wales which Owen Glyndwr requested Charles VI of France to submit to the 
Pope. His letter, dated March 31, 1406, is at the Record Office. 

3 Vita S. Teliaui in Book of Llan Ddv, p. 107. 

S. David 303 

to deal with it ; vast numbers of all conditions and ages died ; and 
the very beasts and reptiles also perished. The panic was univer- 
sal. The idea got about that the sole means of escape from the dis- 
order was to be found in flight across the seas. Accordingly all who 
could fled, some to Ireland (where, however, the plague raged with 
equal violence), the majority to France. 1 

Teilo feigned that he had received a revelation from heaven bid- 
ding him go. Accordingly he ran away, along with some of his suf- 
fragan bishops, and men and women of different orders and ranks, 
and took refuge in Armorica, after having passed through Cornwall. 
That David also went is probable enough. He and Teilo were close 
friends. The biographer of S. David does not say that he then went, 
but he does relate how that David, Teilo and Padarn departed to- 
gether on a pilgrimage and went to Jerusalem, where David was con- 
secrated bishop by the patriarch. The story of this nctitiousjourney 
to Jerusalem occurs in the Lives of David, Teilo and Padarn, with 
notable variations. But the object of its manufacture is obvious 
enough. It was invented to establish the independence of the Welsh 
bishops from the see of 'Canterbury, by showing that they were con- 
secrated at Jerusalem. 

We may dismiss this pilgrimage to Jerusalem as interested fiction ; 
but there may remain this basis of fact, that David, Teilo and Padarn 
did abandon their monasteries at one and the same time and cross 
the seas together. 

Both Teilo and Padarn went first to Cornwall when leaving Wales, 
and we may suppose that David did the same, and that on this occa- 
sion he may have picked up his mother, who was residing on one of 
the lands that had been granted to her by her brother-in-law, Solomon 
or Selyf, and carried her on with him to Armorica. 

Teilo, we know, went into Armorican Cornubia, to King Budic. 
Whether Padarn went any further than Cornwall may be doubted. 
But David went into Leon, and during the years of his absence, till 
after the complete cessation of the Yellow Plague, he founded churches 
in Leon ; and his mother was settled at Dirinon, near Landerneau, 
where she is thought to have died, and where is now shown her tomb. 

His principal foundation in Leon is S. Divy, near Landerneau. 
but he had his locus penitentice at Loquivy, near Lannion. He is 
also culted at Dirinon. Here are two holy wells, one of S. Non, the 
other of S. David. 

We cannot say with any assurance that the period when David 

1 " Quorum quidam perrexerunt in Hiberniam ; plures vero ducente eo in 
Franciam " (Ibid., p. 108). 

304 Lives of the British Saints 

was in Leon was that during which the Yellow Pestilence raged in 
Britain, 547-550 ; but we consider it probable, and if so, it is not un- 
likely that it was during this period that S. Non died. 

This residence in Leon may have misled Giraldus into supposing 
that David was at one time in Caerleon, and so have given rise to 
the preposterous fable that he had been archbishop there. 

If it be allowed that David was in Leon at this time, then his return 
would be about 551. 

After the devastation wrought by the plague, he had doubtless 
much to do to bring his Menevian monastery into order once more. 
It is not unlikely that his energy impelled him to go about much 
at this time and to labour throughout South Wales to re-establish 
religion. We have churches bearing the name of Dewi in Here- 
fordshire, in Momnouth, Brecknock, and Radnor, as well as in Cere- 
digion and Pebydicg, and those parts of Glamorgan and Carmarthen 
over which he had exercised influence for some time, Gower and the 
country between the Tawe and the Towy. It is not easy to explain 
this extension of his foundations, unless we allow of many journeys 
and much labour in establishing religious centres, or that some of 
them were " colonies " planted by monks from his monastery during 
or after his lifetime. 

At home, at Glyn Rhosyn, his rule was too strict to please all the 
monks. The steward, the cook and his deacon planned to re- 
move him by poison, and some poisonous ingredient was inserted 
in the bread given to David at table. S. Scuthin, 1 from Ireland, 
was there at the time on a visit, and for some reason or other, 
entertained suspicions that an attempt was being made on the "life 
of the venerable abbot-bishop. Starting up from table, he ex- 
claimed, " To-day none of the brethren shall wait on the father 
but myself." Then the deacon, fearing that the plot was discovered, 
turned pale and retreated in confusion. The bread offered to David 
was thrown away ; some of it was eaten by a dog, that died almost 
immediately, as did also a crow that had come down from an " ash- 
tree," in which it had its nest, to carry off the crumbs. An investi- 
gation was held. " And all the brethren arose and lamented, and 
cursed those deceitful persons, the steward, the cook, and the deacon, 
and with one voice damned them and their posterity, that they 
should forfeit their place in the kingdom of heaven for ever." 

In 565 Ainmire mounted the throne as High King of Ireland. 

1 In Giraldus (p. 392), " Swithunus, qui et Scolanus dictus est." Rhygy- 
farch (p. 131) also gives the alias Scolanus. Bedd Yscolan occurs in the Welsh 
Life (p. 109). 


From Statue at S, Yvi, near Quimper. 

S. David 305 

He was desirous of restoring religion in the island, as paganism was 
again raising its head, and there was a slackening of the Faith. He 
invited Gildas, David, and Cadoc to come to him and revive the 
flagging Christianity of the people. Gildas certainly went in re- 
sponse, but whether David did more than send a form of the Mass and 
some of his best pupils to engage in the work, we are unable to say. 
The Church of Naas, in Kildare, however, regards him as its patron, 
and presumably its founder. Near it are the remains of an ancient 
structure called by the people the Castle of S. David. It is now con- 
verted into a rectory. 

At length David's strength began to fail. He was old and weary. 
Rhygyfarch says that he attained to the age of 147 years, which is 
absurd. When he felt that he was dying, he said Mass, and preached 
to the people on the Sunday. On the ensuing Tuesday, being 
March i, he was in the Church, as he had been continually for several 
days, and early in the morning he listened to his clergy singing the 
psalms. Then falling into an ecstasy, he exclaimed, " Raise me 
after Thee ! " and expired. 1 " After hunger, and thirst, and cold, 
and labour, and fasting, and relieving the needy ; after adversity, 
and temptation, and anxiety, the angels took his soul to the place 
where there is light without end, rest without labour, joy without 
sorrow where there is health and no pain, youth and no old age, 
peace and no contention, music and no discord, and rewards without 
end." 2 At the very moment of his death his old companion S. 
Kentigern, whilst engaged in prayer at Llanelwy, had a vision ; he 
saw him enter heaven, conducted " with heavenly music into the 
joy of the Lord, and crowned with glory and honour." ? The exiled 
Kentigern had been with him for some time at S. David's before he 
settled at Llanelwy. 

When we come to fix the date of his death we are met with 

The Annales Cambria have against 60 1, " David episcopus Moni 
ludaeorum," and they couple it with the death of Pope Gregory, 
which took place in 604. The Annals of I nis fallen give as the date 
589, the Chronicon Scottorum, 588, and the Annals of Tighernach, 
587. 4 If we trust the Life of S. Kentigern, David died whilst that 

1 " Tolle me post Te ! " Cambro-British Saints, p. 142. 

2 Ibid., p. 116 ; cf. the Life of S. Cybi. 

3 Joscelyn, Vita S. Kentigerni, c. 26. 

4 The Annals of Tighernach are unreliable. The compiler did not give the 
date, but put Kl. for Kalends, with the day of the week in which January i fell 
each year. But he forgot to reckon the leap years, and his dates precede the 


3 o 6 Lives of the British Saints 

Saint was still in Wales, before 574. The story told by Geoffrey of 
Monmouth, that Maelgwn Gwynedd ordered the burial of S. David 
to be carried out with great pomp, may be dismissed. William of 
Malmesbury gives 546, but this is too early, as 601 is too late. David 
died on March I, which that year fell on a Tuesday. The day on 
which that date coincided with a Tuesday might be in 550, 561, 567, 
572, 578, and 589. This last year will agree with the Annals of 

To help us in the determination of the true date we must consider 
the dates of the deaths of the contemporaries of David. Gildas 
was certainly older than he, and he died in 570 ; Cadoc about 577 ; 
Dyfrig, who was assuredly his senior by some years, died about 577. 
Finnian of Clonard died in 548, during the raging of the Yellow Plague, 
and died of it, according to the Annals of the Four Masters. Aidan 
or Maidoc, the pupil of S. David, certainly some twenty years his junior, 
died, as we have shown, about 625. Samson, his fellow-student under 
Illtyd, if we may trust one account, shortly after 557 ; and Paul of 
Leon about 560. Senan of Iniscathy, with whom he had entered 
into a compact of brotherhood, died, as nearly as can be determined, 
about 568. Brendan, of Clonfert, who visited him, died in 577 ; 
Constantine of Domnonia, another visitor, about 598. 

We are inclined to take 589 as the date at which David died. 
Archbishop Ussher was certainly wrong in putting the date so early 
as 544. The date of his birth was about 500, possibly a few years 
before that. It is hardly credible that it can have been protracted 
to 60 1, the date given in the Annales Cambrics. 

We have but conjecture, more or less plausible, to guide us towards 
fixing tentatively the periods in the Life of S. David when he formed 
his several foundations. 

His first, we may suppose, was the Bangor or Henllan on the Teifi, 
in Ceredigion, granted to him by his father. The Old Bush would 
come to him from his maternal grandfather. This, as already shown, 
had been established some time before under Mancen or Maucan, 
apparently at the instigation of S. Patrick, but on land that per- 
tained to Cynyr of Caer Gawch. There may have been an under- 
standing that it was to be held by a stranger only until one of the 
founder's family was in the ecclesiastical profession and ready to 
assume the headship. In a Celtic monastery the rule as to head- 
ship was, " The tribe of the patron saint shall get the Church as long 
as there shall be a person fit to be an abbot of the tribe of the patron 
saint, even though there should be but a psalm-singer of them, it 

true dates by about four years. , Skene, Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, Edin- 
burgh, 1867, p. xxxix. 

S. David 307 

is he that shall obtain the abbacy." And, " the abbacy shall go 
to the tribe to whom the land belonged, until a person fit to be an 
abbot of the patron saint shall be qualified ; when he is, the abbacy 
will be given to him, if he is better than the abbot from the tribe 
to whom the land belonged and who had taken it. If he be not 
better, then it is only in his turn that he shall succeed." l Only 
in the absence of any person, a blood-relation to the founder, 
could the abbacy be held^by one not of the tribe, and he had to give 
securities to surrender the headship when a duly qualified person 
of the founder's kin appeared to claim it. 2 

Now the Old Bush must have been conceded by Cynyr to Mancen, 
according to Celtic rule, conditionally. It had to be vacated 
as soon as one of Cynyr 's blood was prepared to become president. 
Whether Paulinus succeeded Mancen at the Old Bush is not very 
clear, but probably he did, and David became his pupil there, with the 
certainty of becoming abbot as soon as he was of age to assume the 
position, when Paulinus would surrender it to him without question. 

In or about 527, when David was abbot, though quite young, 
Gildas appeared on the scene, and attempted to wrest the place 
from him, but failed. Finnian of Clonard, who was called in to settle 
the dispute, gave judgment in David's favour. He could do no 
other, as already said. David had a hereditary right to the place. 

Next we have the Goidels expelled by Urien Rheged from the 
district in Carmarthen, and David called in to found churches there. 

After 540, when appeared the violent Increpatio of Gildas against 
the Welsh princes, Gower must have been vacated by Cenydd, the 
son of Gildas, who had been the ecclesiastical head there. It would 
have been impossible for him to remain on the lands of a chief who 
had been covered with abuse by his father. Then David slipped in 
and made his foundations in Gower. 

About what time he was in Cornwall, and he and his mother made 
settlements there, can only be guessed. He passed through Dom- 
nonia and planted churches at Thelbridge, Exeter, Ashprington 
and Dewstowe on his way. These foundations were probably made 
at no late period in his career. 

When the Yellow Plague broke out, we hold that he departed to 
Leon in Brittany, and the period of his foundations- there would be 
between 547 and 551. 

On his return we have assumed that he travelled over nearly all. 
south Wales up to the Wye, working along with S. Teilo in restor- 

1 Ancient Laws of Ireland, iii, p. 73. 

2 Ibid. See Willis Bund, The Celtic Church of Wales, c. 4, "Monasteries.'" 

308 Lives of the British Saints 

ing the Church, greatly shaken by the losses caused by the pestilence, 
and that it is to this period that we may attribute so many Dewi 
churches scattered far and wide, and to the laying the foundations 
for the extension of the great Diocese of S. David's, or Menevia, of 
a later period. 

It has been supposed by Rees 1 and others that a regular diocese 
was formed by S. David ; but this cannot be admitted. All David 
did was to plant centres of religious and monastic influence broad- 
cast over the land. He and Teilo worked together in friendly con- 
cord, with the same object, and neither had any idea that there 
would exist at a later time a rivalry between the sees of Menevia 
and Llandaff relative to their limits, on account of their foundations 
being so mixed. 

We repeat what has been said above, that we offer this scheme 
as a suggestion, but do not insist upon it, as there are no positive 
dates on which to go. 

We will now give in tabular form a probable chronology of the 
life of this venerable Saint 

S. David, born ... . . . . . . . 495-500 

Educated as a child by Paulinus at Ty Gwyn. 

Obtains the abbacy of the Old Bush and Henllan . . . . . c. 526 

Gild as attempts to wrest the abbacy from him . . . . . c. 527 

Visits Domnonia and makes foundations there. 

Makes foundations in Carmarthen. 

Returns to Menevia and removes his monastery from the Old Bush to 

Glyn Rhosyn. 
Makes foundations in Gower . ... . . . . c. 542 

Attends the Council of Llanddewi Brefi ...... c. 545 

Outbreak of the Yellow Plague. Goes to Brittany withJTeilo, and settles 

in Leon and makes foundations there . . . . . c. 547 

Returns to Menevia . . . . . . . . . c. 551 

Engaged for some years in founding churches throughout South Wales. 
Invited by Ainmire to Ireland. Sends a form of Mass and pupils to 

Ireland, perhaps founded there the church of Naas . . . 565 

Attends the Synod of Lucus Victorias . . . . . . . 569 

Dies 589 

The Festival of S. David, March i, is given in the Welsh, Sarum, 
Hereford, Roman, and other Calendars. 2 

A Missa de Sancto David is appended to the life by Rhygyfarch, 
and at the end of Giraldus' edition of the same is a Responsio for the 

1 Essay on the Welsh 55., p. 197. " It is generally agreed that Wales was 
first divided into dioceses in his time." From this general agreement we entirely 

2 The Bollandists give August 16 and September 26 as days commemorating 
reputed Translations of his Relics. 

S. David 309 

choir, which is partly addressed to the Saint himself. These, like the 
Teilo fragments, have no real claim to he esteemed Celtic. 1 

Under a constitution of 1398 of Archbishop Arundel, his Festi- 
val was directed to be observed in every Church throughout the 
province of Canterbury, and duly marked in the Calendar. Arch- 
bishop Chicheley, under a constitution of 1415, further ordained 
that it be celebrated " cum regimine chori et ix lectionibus," and 
inflicted a penalty for non-compliance. 2 With the Reformation 
its religious observance ceased, to be revived in Wales during last 

Browne Willis 3 says that the Festivals of SS. David, Non, and 
Lily (Gwas Dewi), held respectively on the first three days of March, 
were formerly observed with such solemnity at S. David's, that if 
any one " had been known to work upon any of those days, it would 
have been esteemed as a very heinous offence." 

David is represented in art as a bishop, with a dove whispering 
in his ear. It is said in his Life that his fellow-pupils often ob- 
served such a bird, with a golden beak, playing about him. It also 
sat on his shoulder at the Brefi Synod. But the leek is also his 
emblem. There is nothing in his Life about leeks, and the emblem 
may possibly have been transferred to him from S. Patrick, who 
miraculously supplied the wife of Ailill with them. 4 Various at- 
tempts have been made to account for the custom of wearing the 
leek on his day, but none of them are satisfactory. The references 
to leek-wearing are all comparatively modern. Mediaeval Welsh 
literature has very little to say of the leek. 5 There is a tradition 
that S. David lived some time in a cell at Llanthony, in Monmouth- 

1 S. David's Day is liturgically provided for in the Sarum and Roman Missals 
and in A llwydd Paradwys, 1670. 

2 Wilkins, Concilia, 1737,11!, pp. 234-5, 376. " On Feast days certain clerks 
were appointed to 'rule the quite,' two or three in number. They wore silk 
copes, and had charge of the music. Feasts were divided also into Feasts of three 
Lessons and Feasts of nine Lessons, i.e., the number of Lessons at Matins" (Canon 
F. E. Warren). Chicheley had occupied the See of S. David's before his 
elevation to the Primacy. 

3 Survey of S. David's, 1717, p. 36. In the fifteenth century it was honoured 
with the patronage of royalty. 

4 Tripartite Life, i, p. 201. 

5 During that period it is referred to oftenest in Meddygon Myddfai, " The 
Physicians of Myddfai," in Carmarthenshire (Llandovery, 1861), who were the 
physicians of Rhys Gryg, Lord of Dynevor, in the thirteenth century ; but 
it is only in respect to its medicinal properties. Leeks are also incidentally 
mentioned in the Laws of Hywel Dda and in the Book of Taliessin. The leek 
was by no means so common as a pot-herb formerly in Wales as is now generally 
supposed. The daffodil is in \Velsh Cenin Pedr, S. Peter's Leeks, which no 
Welshman, we believe, would object to see exchanged for the pungent vegetable. 

3 i o Lives of the British Saints 

shire, but this arises from a mistaking of the Hodnant in Mynyw 
with the Hodni or Honddu of Llanthony. Drayton tells us that 
whilst there, he 

Did so trulie fast, 

As he did onelie drinke what crystall Hodney yeelds, 
And fed vpon the Leeks he gather'd in the fields. 
In niemorie of whom, in the reuoluing yeere 
The Welch-men on his day that sacred herbe doe weare. 1 

The origin of leek-wearing has also been connected with signal 
victories gained by the Welsh ; the one under Cadwallon over the 
Saxons in the seventh century ; and the other at the battle of Cressy, 
which " took place in a field of leeks." 2 Shakespeare in Henry 
V also dates the custom from the latter " prave pattle," and associ- 
ates it with " Saint Tavy's Day." It was " worn as a memorable 
trophy of pre-deceased valour." 

Dewi is still the one purely Welsh Saint that has been formally 
enrolled in the Calendars of the Western Church. There is no record 
of the time when, or the occasion on which, his canonization took 
place, but it has been supposed that it was in the time of Pope Calix- 
tus II, iiig-24. 3 At any rate, his pre-eminence over the other 
Welsh Saints cannot be referred to a period earlier that the twelfth 
century, if as early. It was then that his cult, from being that of 
a merely local Saint, became that of the Patron of Wales. His 
canonization followed closely upon the compilation of the Life by 
Rhygyfarch, and this latter no doubt helped to bring it about. Its 
author was the last Welsh occupant but one of the see of S. David's 
before it became subject to Canterbury. It was a critical period in 
the history of the Welsh Church ; it was on the verge of losing its 
ancient independence. He glorified his hero to the best of his power, 
with true patriotism as well as zeal, especially for his own Diocese. 
He represents him as having been consecrated by the patriarch of 
Jerusalem, and to have been the Saint specially honoured by him, 
though the author of the Life of S. Teilo, with equal zeal for Llan- 
daff, emphasizes rather the honour paid to that Saint, and exalts 
him above his two companions. Dyfrig and Deiniol solicited his 
presence at the Synod of Brefi, where his pre-eminence was unmis- 

1 Polyolbion, second part, 1622, p. 60. Giraldus (I tin. Camb., i, c. 3) does 
not connect S. David with Llanthony, but mentions his " humble chapel " that 
had preceded the abbey, and adds that the latter owed its foundation, early in 
the twelfth century, to two hermits that had settled there. There is a stream 
called Hodnant also at Llantwit Major. 

* lolo MSS., p. 65. 3 Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., i, p. 316. 

S. David 311 

takably manifested, and Dyfrig afterwards retired from the archi- 
episcopate of Caerleon in his favour. He was, in fact, " caput et 
previus ac bragmaticus omnibus Brittonibus." ^ 

All this must be treated as Rhygyfarch's rhetoric, for Dewi, during 
his lifetime, and for centuries after, can only be regarded as the 
supreme or chief saint of the principality of Dyfed, with which the 
Diocese to-day roughly coincides. 

He is often designated Archbishop (e.g., in the Anglican Calendar), 
but S. David's had never any claim to be considered archiepiscopal, 
and no such claim was formally put forward until the twelfth cen- 
tury, and Giraldus' arguments only served to show how fictitious 
it was. Similar claims for the metropolitanship of Wales are made 
in the Book of Llan Ddv in favour of that See. In the Celtic Church 
of Wales, as of Ireland, the title of Archbishop was used very 

The accounts of David's immediate successor differ. He is vari- 
ously said to have been succeeded by Cynog, translated from Llan- 
badarn ; by Ismael, consecrated by Teilo ; and by Teilo himself, 
immediately, or after the decease of Cynog. Teilo, however, trans- 
ferred the " primacy " to Llandaff. 

Several of the mediaeval Welsh bards wrote poems in honour of 
S. David, which illustrate the diffusion of his cult under the influence 
of the Latin Church, and also supply some incidents that are not 
recorded in the Lives. Gwynfardd Brycheiniog, in the early thir- 
teenth century, wrote a long poem 2 in which he gives his legendary 
Life and enumerates the churches that were then dedicated to him, 
and is, especially on this account, a valuable contemporary docu- 
ment. His method of denoting dedication is Dewi bieu, i.e., " Dewi 
is the owner " of such and such a church, and he mentions some 
twenty churches by name, all in the Diocese of S. David's, but some 
of which had originally other dedications. There were present, he 
says, at the Synod of Brefi, " Saints of Anjou and Armorica, of England 
and the North, of Manaw, and Powys, and Ireland, of Anglesey 
and Gwynedd, of Domnonia and Kent, of Brycheiniog and Mae- 
lienydd," and of other countries besides. The Saint's cult is here 
very marked and developed. He is " the pride of Christendom," 
and one of the most exalted of the Saints, but he is not distinctly 
mentioned as Patron of Wales. 

1 Cambro-British Saints, p. 140. 

2 Myv. Arch., pp. 194-6. The earliest copy of this interesting poem is in the 
Red Book of Hergest, col. 1186. The war-cry of Maurice de Prendergast, of 
Pembrokeshire, in the twelfth century, was " Saint David I " 

312 Lives of the British Saints 

lolo Goch, Owen Glyndwr's laureate, was the author of another 
long poem. 1 It relates the principal incidents in the legendary Life, 
and supplements it with several particulars, among them a miracle 
by David, which does not appear to be alluded to elsewhere. God, 
it says, had transformed, for some grievous sin that is not mentioned, 
two men of Dyfed into wolves, as well as their mother. The men's 
names were Gwyddre Astrus and Goddrudd. Through David's 
miraculous power they became once more rational human beings. 
These can be no other than " the two cubs of Gast Rhymi, Gwyddrud 
and Gwyddneu Astrus," mentioned in the story of Culhwch and 
Olwen, 2 in the long list of Arthur's warriors that were adjured by 
Culhwch to obtain Olwen for him to wife. To proclaim a man " a 
wolf " was a not uncommon expression to signify outlawry, and 
the story means no more than that David restored two outlaws. 

The next poem is by leuan Rhydderch ab leuan Llwyd, who 
flourished in the early fifteenth century. 3 He, too, recounts the 
legendary Life. From all that he had heard and had learnt from 
" gold-lettered books " and the Lives of the Saints, it might be 
truly said that there was no better or greater Saint than Dewi. 
According to this, as well as the two previous poems, there were 
as many as 147,000 persons present at the Brefi Synod. It was 
when he was at Llangyfelach that the angel directed him to visit 
the Holy Sepulchre. Two pilgrimages to S. David's were equal to 
one to Rome, and three thither equal to one to the Holy Sepulchre. 

In the Demetian Code of the Welsh Laws occur occasional invo- 
cations, at the end of chapters and sections, to Dewi as the recog- 
nized Saint of Dyfed, such as " Dewi Brefi ! " " Dewi Brefi yn 
ganhorthwy ! " (be aiding !), " Dewi Brefi o'r Bryn Gwyn ! " (of the 
White or Blessed Hill !) 4 ; and at the end of certain legal Triads 
of later date, " Dewi Brefi, ora, ora," and " Dewi Ddyfrwr, ora pro 
nobis ! " 5 These invocations belong especially to this Code, for 
they do not occur in the Gwentian and Venedotian Codes. David 
is often called in mediaeval Welsh literature Dewi Ddyfrwr, " the 
Water-man, or Water-drinker," which was rendered by Rhygyfarch 

1 Printed, e.g., in Gweithiau lolo Goch, ed. Ashton, Oswestry, 1896, pp. 589-99.. 

2 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. in. 

3 Printed in the lolo MSS., pp. 298-301 ; a copy in Llanstephan MS. 47.. 
There are other poems in Dewi's honour by Dafydd Llwyd ab Llywelyn ab 
Gruff ydd (in Peniarth MS. 77), Rhisiart ab Rhys of Llanharan (in Llan- 
stephan MS. 164), and Lewis Glyn Cothi (in Addit. MS. 14, 871). 

* Welsh Laws, ed. Aneurin Owen, 1841, pp. 292, 576-604. 
6 Myv. Arch., pp. 943-62, 

S. David 313 

"David Aquilentus," and. "David aquaticae vitae," and he was so 
called, according to him, because he lived on bread and water. 1 

In the Hoianau, in the twelfth century Black Book of Carmarthen? 
occurs the line, " They will do honour at the grave of Dewi " ; and 
from another poem, in the fourteenth-fifteenth century Red Book 
of Hergest, 3 it is clear that he was then regarded as something more 
than a local Saint 

Actively will the sons of Cymru call upon Dewi, 
Who loveth peace and mercy. 

A saying attributed to him is preserved among the " Sayings of 
the Wise," and the " Stanzas of the Hearing," 4 

Hast thou heard the saying of Dewi, 
The holy man of broad qualities ? 
" The best usage is goodness." 
(Goreu defawd daioni.) 

The Demetian tradition of the death portent known as canwyll 
gorff (corpse candle) is that it was specially granted through the 
intercession of S. David to the people of his Diocese. 5 According 
to Welsh folk-lore the canwyll precedes the funeral of a person whose 
death it forebodes, and moves from the house to the Church in the 
same way exactly as the actual funeral, and finally disappears at 
the spot w r here the grave is to be. Its colour and brightness vary 
with the age, sex, and strength of the doomed person. We cannot 
do better than give here the tradition of its origin in the words of 
an eighteenth century writer, who implicitly believed in it. 6 He 
says : " The prevailing opinion is, that it is an effect of S. David's 
prayer, some will say of some other Bishop ; but the more intelli- 
gent think it of S. David, and none indeed so likely. Being a very 
spiritual man, and observing that the people in general were care- 
less of the life to come, and could not be brought to mind it, and 
make a preparation for it, though he laboured much to bring them 

1 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 133, 118 ; Giraldus, iii, p. 379, "David vir 
aquaticus." For other " Water-men " see under SS. DYFRWYR. 

2 Skene, Four Ancient Books, ii, p. 22. 3 Ibid., p. 20. 

4 lolo MSS., p. 252 ; Myv.Arch., p. 128. This proverbial saying is also attributed 
to Catwg Ddoeth, Ibid., pp. 777, 779, and cf. p. 846. A late Triad (Ibid., p. 402) 
mentions Dewi, Padarn, and Teilo as " the three blessed visitors of the Isle of 

5 It is, however, known to North Wales folk-lore. See Rhys, Celtic Folk-lore, 
p. 275, and Elias Owen, Welsh Folk-lore, pp. 298-301. 

6 Edmund Jones, A Relation of Apparitions of Spirits in the County of Mon- 
tnouth and the Principality of Wales, Newport, Mon., 1813, pp. 84-5. The 
author, "the Old Prophet," as he was popularly called, was an Independent 
minister, and the first edition of his extraordinary took appeared in 1767. 

314 Lives of the British Saints 

to it, prayed God to give a sign of the immortality of the soul, and 
of a hie to come, a presage of death, and a motive to prepare for 
it ; and that God, in answer to his prayer, sent the Corpse Candles, 
and likely the Kyhirraeth * to answer the same pious end. This is the 
tradition of the country about it ; and this is the only likely thing, 
for no other reason can be given for it, and it hath answered this 
good end ; for in those parts the opposite infidelity prevails not, 
at least among the common people ; and if it doth with some others 
who are hardened and abandoned, it will greatly aggravate their 
sin. S. David had one of the best of ends in making this kind of 
prayer ; and if he had not, God would not have answered his prayer, 
and for so long a time." 

Giraldus says * that there was preserved at the Church of Glasgwm 
or^Gjascombe (S. David), in Radnorshire, " a portable bell, endowed 
with great virtues, called Bangu, and said to have belonged to S. 
David." Gwynfardd Brycheiniog also mentions the Bangu, and 
says that it was borne to Glasgwm by Dewi's two famous oxen, still 
popularly associated with Llanddewi Brefi. 

S. David's plain but empty shrine now occupies a very modest 
position in the Choir of his Cathedral Church. It is, however, rather 
a base and a frame for a movable feretory. The few scattered 
notices of the shrine may help us to form an opinion as to its real use. 
S. David was buried in his own Church, and his confessor, Justinian, 
was not long after buried in the same tomb. His remains appear 
subsequently to have been placed in a shrine or feretory, and that 
it was portable is evident from the fact that in 1088 it was stolen 
out of the Church by some unknown person or persons, carried a 
short distance off, broken, and plundered of its contents. 3 In the 
following century a claim was put forward on behalf of the monks 
of Glastonbury to possess the body of S. David; and William of 
Malmesbury definitely states that the relics were transferred to 
Glastonbury in 946.* However, they appear to have been still in 
their proper place when Henry II made his pilgrimage in 1173, and 
we find Bishop Richard de Carew in 1275 building a new, and we 

1 The Cykiraftk is described as some repellent creature that portended death 
by giving in the night a blood-freezing shriek, accompanied by a most doleful 
noise, Kke the Irish banshee. 

* Itim. Comb., i, c, i. Gildas presented David with a bell cast by himself, 
bat-he finding that IDtyd had taken a fancy to it gave it him. Cambro-British 
Saints, p. 175. 

* Brut y Tymysogion in Bruts, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 270 ; cf. Myv. A rck., 
p. 699, and Bntt y Saeson in ibid., p. 665. In the latter Brut it is called kist= 
chest or coffin ; in the former, yscrin= shrine. 

* Gale, Script/ores, xv. p. 299. 

S. David 315 

may suppose, a more elaborate shrine. But we find that the relics, 
or part of them, were enclosed in a portable shrine even after this 
date ; for the Black Book of S. David's, 1 an extent of the Bishop's 
lands and rents made in 1326, informs us that the burgesses of S. 
David's were bound in time of war to follow the Bishop with the 
shrine and relics of S. David for one day's journey. 2 

The shrine was both an object of considerable veneration and a source 
of considerable profit. Besides Henry's royal pilgrimage, William 
the Conqueror in 1079, an< ^ Edward I and Queen Eleanor in 1284, 
are said to have undertaken the journey, and of course innumerable 
other votaries. According to the Chronicon Anglice Petriburgense 
Pope Calixtus II, in 1124, " pro viarum periculo, pro una peregrin- 
atione Romana bis Sanctum Davidem petere concessit." Arch- 
bishop Peckham is reported to have found the well-known monkish 
lines at S. David's 

Meneviam pete bis, Romam adire si vis, 

Merces aequa tibi, redditur hie et ibi ; 

Roma semel quantum, dat bis Menevia tantum. 3 

At the last restoration of the Cathedral, immediately behind the 
High Altar, was found, walled up, a recess with a window into it of 
fine Norman work. This was probably a fenestrella confessionis. Be- 
hind it, in the recess, were bones. These were placed in a box and 
buried below the spot on the east side of the Altar screen. They 
were probably, but not certainly, relics of the Patron Saint. There 
was, however, no metal shrine, and no inscription to state whose 
bones they were. 

1 Published by the Hon. Society of Cymmrodorion in 1902, ed. WiUis Bund ; 
see especially pp. 37, 51, 153. 

1 See further Basil Jones and Freeman, S. David's, 1856, pp. 102-6 ; Robson, 
S. David's (Bell's Cathedral Series), 1901, pp. 50-4 (with an illustration of the 

3 Some one has put the sentiment embodied in these lines into Welsh, thus : 

" Dos i Rufain unwaith 
Ac i Fynyw ddwywaith, 
A'r un elw cryno 
A gei di yma ag yno." 

Another bard reckons up the miles and hills between Haverfordwest and 
S. David's : 

" O Hwlffordd i Dy Ddewi 

Fe ga'r pererin blin 
Un filltir lawn ar bymtheg 
Ac ugain bryn ond un." 

Dafydd ab Gwilym, in the fourteenth century, wrote a playful poem describing 
Morfudd, his lady-love, going on pilgrimage from Anglesey to S. David's to do 
penance (Poem xxxiii of his published works). 

3 1 6 Lives of the British Saints 

The fountain of S. David, which supplied his monastery, was to 
the east of the Church. It was a source of injury to the building, 
and has since been carried away by an underground drain. 

We will now give his Church dedications in Wales. As the situ- 
ation of these show, he was emphatically a South Wales Saint, and 
more particularly of the principality of Dyfed. 1 Rees, in his 
Essay on the Welsh Saints (1836) enumerates forty-two churches 
and chapels dedicated to him in the Diocese of S. David's, eight in 
Llandaff, and three in Hereford ; fifty-three in all. This makes 
him, as regards cult, the third most popular Saint in the whole of 
Wales. He is preceded only by the Blessed Virgin and S. Michael the 
Archangel, to whom Rees ascribes 143 and 94 churches and chapels 
respectively. The Dewi churches frequently come in groups : \ve get 
an old foundation with churches of later date clustering round it. 

It is worth noticing that churches or chapels dedicated to 
S. Non, placed near those of S. David, occur several times in Wales, 
once in Cornwall and Devon, and once at least in Brittany. 

In Pembrokeshire the following churches are dedicated to him : 
the Cathedral Church of S. David's, but now to SS. David and Andrew, 
which occurs apparently for the first time in the Privilegium of Pope 
Calixtus II, 1123 2 ; Whitchurch ; Brawdy ; Llanychllwydog ; 
Llanychaer ; Maenor Deifi ; Bridell ; Llanddewi Velfrey ; Hub- 
berston ; and Prendergast. 3 

In Cardiganshire Bangor Teifi, or Bangor Esgor ; Henllan, 
under Bangor ; Bangor, near Aberystwyth ; Blaenporth ; Hen- 
fynyw ; Llanddewi Aberarth ; Llanarth, previously S. Meilig ; 
Llanddewi Brefi ; Blaenpenal ; and Capel Dewi in Llandyssul parish. 

In Carmarthenshire Abergwili ; Bettws ; Henllan Amgoed ; 
Abergorlech ; Llanarthney, previously S. Arthneu, with Capel Dewi, 
extinct ; Llangadock, with S. Cadoc ; S. David's. Carmarthen ; 
Llanycrwys, formerly Llanddewi y Crwys ; Meidrym ; Capel Dewi, 
near Llwyn Dewi, and a chapel in Dynevor Castle, both extinct, 

1 The name of Llanddewi in Denbighshire is misleading, as it is a modern 
(1867) church and parish. Dewi, as distinguished from Dafydd, enters but 
sparingly into the topography of North Wales. Cerrig Ddewi is the name of 
a township of Llangwyllog, Anglesey. Edward Lhuyd, in his Itinerary, 1699, 
says under Caerwys, Flintshire, " There is a foot of ground in the churchyard 
called Tir Dewi ; on which account the plague (cornwyd) will never come to this 
township." In the early i4th century there was founded a Chapel of "SS. John 
and David" within the Chapelry of Knockin, Salop, in the Diocese of S. Asaph. 

2 Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., i, p. 315. 

3 Henlle (Hunlle, lanlle) Ddewi is given in old parish lists (Dr. J. G. Evans, 
Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 917 ; Myv. Arch., p. 746) as the name of a parish in 
Pebydiog, by which S. Dogwell's is probably meant. 

S. David 317 

in the parish of Llandeilo Fawr ; and Capel Dewi, extinct, in the 
parish of Llanelly. 

In Brecknockshire Garthbrengi ; Llanfaes, otherwise Brecon 
S. David ; Llanwrtyd ; Llanddewi Abergwessin the parish of 
which was joined in 1886 to that of Llanfihangel Abergwessin, its 
church being pulled down and the chapel in the same Llanddewi, 
at Llwyn y Fynwent, long since extinct ; Llywel, with SS. Llywel 
and Teilo ; the extinct chapelry of Dolhywel, now included in the 
parish of Myddfai ; Trallwng, for Trallwng Cynfyn ; Maesmynys, 
formerly Llanddewi Maesmynys ; Llanynys, under Maesmynys ; 
Llanddewi'r Cwm ; and Tir Abad, otherwise Llanddulas. 

In Radnorshire Cregruna, i.e., Craig Furuna, according to Gwyn- 
fardd ; Gladesbury, formerly Llanfair Llwythynog ; Glasgwm or 
Glascombe, with its chapels of Colfa and Rhiwlen or Rhulen ; Llan- 
ddewi Ystrad Enny ; Llanddewi Fach ; Heyope, formerly Llan- 
ddewi Heiob ; and Whitton, formerly Llanddewi yn Hwytyn. 

In Glamorganshire Llanddewi, in Gower l ; Llangyfelach, with 
S. Cyfelach ; Ystalyfera ; Bettws ; and Laleston. 

In Monmouthshire Llanddewi Fach, anciently Landdeui Penn 
bei 2 ; Llanddewi Ysgyryd or Skirrid ; Llanddewi Rhydderch ; 
Llanthony, formerly Llanddewi Nant Honddu ; Bettws ; Raglan, 
given also as dedicated to S. Cadoc ; Trostrey ; and Llangeview, 
previously S. Cyfyw. Dewstow, south of Caerwent, is extinct. 

In Herefordshire Much Dewchurch, the Lann Deui Ros Cerion 
of the Book of Llan Ddv ; Little Dewchurch ; Kilpeck, the Lann 
Degui Cilpedec of the Book of Llan Ddv ; and Dewsall. 

It should be observed, in the face of these numerous churches 
now assumed to be dedicated to S. David, that some of them a 
few at any rate may not have been originally dedicated to him. 
Dewi formerly was not a very uncommon name ; at least four per- 
sons (lay as well as clerical) of the name are mentioned in the Book 
of Llan Ddv, none of whom can possibly be identified with him. One, 
" Deui summus sacerdos," the son of Circan the priest, was clearly 
an important person locally at Llanddewi Rhos Ceirion, it would 
appear and it is very probable that the Hereford Dewi churches 

1 Near this church is Maen Cetti, which " was, according to ancient tradition, 
worshipped by the pagans ; but Dewi split it with a sword, in proof that it was 
not divine ; and he commanded a well to spring from under it, which flowed 
accordingly " (lolo MSS., p. 83). For the superstitions practised at this crom- 
lech, till within recent times, see Arch. Camb., 1870, pp. 29-30. 

2 S. David was one of the saints called in to settle the dispute between Cadoc 
and Arthur, and as an acknowledgment Cadoc gave him this villa. Cambro- 
British Saints, p. 50, and this work, ii, p. 29. 

3 i 8 Lives of the British Saints 

enumerated commemorate him, and were only associated with his 
more celebrated namesake of Menevia by later tradition. This 
Llanddewi, now Much Dewchurch, seems to have been a church of 
importance, and to have become the mother church of the adjacent 
Little Dewchurch, Dewsall, and Kilpeck. The dedications to S. 
David in Lower Gwent and in Morganwg are very few, and some 
of them late. 1 

Besides the churches and chapels dedicated to him, Dewi's name 
has been perpetuated by a variety of objects that are still associated 
with him, but many are forgotten. We will only mention a few, 
as they are too numerous. The brook, Pistyll Dewi, flows into the 
Alun or Alan at S. David's ; and on Dowrog Common there was, 
until recent years, a large upright stone called Maen Dewi, and an 
adjoining farm still retains the name. At Maesmynys there stood 
on a small eminence, about quarter of a mile from the Church, another 
large stone, about 7^ ft. high, called Maen Dewi, which was blasted 
about 1800. Sarn Dewi (his Causeway) extends for about quarter 
of a mile into Cardigan Bay, near the Church of Llanddewi Aber- 
arth. Llanddewi Brefi is rich in Dewi associations. There is a 
legend still current that during the erection of the church two oxen \ 
were employed to haul stones. On one occasion they were so over- 
laden that one of them fell down dead from the effort to drag the load 
up hill. The other, at the loss of its companion, beUowed nine times, 
whereupon the hill opened, and a way was thus made for it to draw 
the load alone without difficulty. The incident is popularly com- 
memorated in these lines 

Llanddewi y Brefi braith, 

Lie brefodd yr ych naw gwaith, 

Nes hollti Craig y Foelallt. 

The folk-etymologist accounts for the Brefi of the name from the 
ox's bellowing (brefu), but it is so called in reality from the brook 
there of the name. 2 

There is another legend of Dewi's oxen, into which enters the 
afanc, an aquatic monster, like the piast of certain Irish lakes a 
legend found in various forms over Wales. At Llanddewi Brefi 
Church a curious stone was found by Edward Lhuyd over the chancel 

1 See Mr. Egerton Phillimore in Owen's Pembrokeshire, ii, pp. 274-5. There 
is a Poguisma Deui, i.e., Pywysfa Dewi, " David's Resting-place," mentioned 
in the Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 158, 260. It was in the parish of S. Nicholas or S. 
Lythan's, Glamorganshire. 

2 Another etymology substitutes Dewi for the ox, and explains it : " illic 
sanctus David contra haereticos mugiebat " (Leland, Collect., 1774, iv, p. 91). 

S. David 319 

door, bearing an inscription, and the inhabitants said that this com- 
memorated a person struck dead by S. David for letting loose a 
monstrous beaver that had with great difficulty been captured. The 
sexton of the Church showed him the rarity called Matkorn yr ych 
bannog or Matkorn ych Dewi, which was said to have been preserved 
there from the time of S. David. He told the ^tory of how that 
oxen called Ychen bannog (the large horned oxen) drew away the dead 
body of the beaver. " If the Matkorn is not the interior part of 
an ox's horn, as its name imports, it very much resembles it, and 
is so heavy that it seems absolutely petrified." x 

Ffon Ddewi (his Staff), a monumental stone, stands in the church- 
yard, near the west door of the church, and bore an inscription which 
is now obliterated. Tradition says that the Saint leaned against 
this pillar whilst preaching at the Synod. Ffynnon Ddewi, in the 
parish, is said to have sprung up on the spot where he raised the 
dead. The Dewi Holy Wells are very numerous. There is one 
Ffynnon Ddewi as far north as the parish of Llanbadarn Fynydd, 
in Radnorshire, which was considered efficacious in scorbutic com- 

The dedications to S. David in Cornwall, Devon, and Brittany 
have been already mentioned. There may have been a chapel, at 
Trethevy, between Boscastle and Bosinney ; the place is called by 
Leland Tredewi. There is also a Pendavy or Pendewy in Eglos- 
hayle, and a Landue in Lezant, but this may mean " The Black 
Church." It is, however, to be noted that it is separated only by 
the Tamar from Bradstone, the dedication of which is to S. Non. 
At Lansallos is a Landaviddy, with a Holy Well, now called " The 
Saint's Well." 

Barton, in Somersetshire, and Moreton-in-the-Marsh, in Glou- 
cestershire, are dedicated to S. David. An ancient chapelry at 
Airmyn, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, is dedicated to S. David ; 
and Farnsfield and Holme, now regarded as respectively under the 
invocation of S. Michael and S. Giles, were formerly dedicated to 

1 Cough's Camden's Britannia, ii, p. 527. Dineley, in his Official Progress 
of the Duke of Beaufort, 1684, pp. 1 14-6, says the ox " had so large an head, that 
the Pith of one of its horns would equall in bigness a middle siz'd mans thigh. 
This Pith I saw ; it is kept in a chest in the high Chancel to shew strangers." 
See also Meyrick, Cardiganshire, 1808, pp. 266^-9. The matkorn, or rather 
mabgorn (a horn-core) , is not now in the church, but the remaining fragment of 
it is said to have belonged to the Bos primigenius (Arch. Camb., 1868, pp. 85-9). 
There is a dyke in the district known as Cwys yr Ychen Bannog (their Furrow). 
According to the tale of Culhwch and Olwen the two Ychen Bannog were originally 
two men, Nynnio and Peibio, " whom God turned into oxen on account of their 
sin " (Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 121 ; cf. .lolo MSS., p. 193). 

3 2 o Lives of the British Saints 

S. David. Besides these, there are a few churches of late founda- 
tion dedicated to him in England. 

In Brittany, at Dirinon (The Stair of Non), which lies on high 
ground, and where in a chapel near the church is the tomb of S. 
David's mother, there are two Holy Wells, one of S. Non and 
another of S. David. In the Church is his statue, of the fourteenth 
century. He is represented as a monk, with his head half covered 
by a hood ; over his habit is a stole, bound about the body by a 
cord. In his left hand he holds a chalice, in the right a host. The 
statue is of wood, of the I4th century. But on his Holy Well 
he is represented as a Bishop. So also at Loquivy by Lannion. 
Here, in this locus penitentice Sti. Davidis, is a church in a 
most picturesque spot, embowered in trees, and on the slopes 
of a hill, steeply descending to the river. A marvellous Renaissance 
fountain plays in the churchyard. Outside the cemetery wall is 
a flamboyant Holy Well of the Saint, and he is represented thereon 
as an archbishop with crozier. 

He is invoked in Brittany in children's maladies, and his com- 
memoration is on July 10. 

The paintings on the ceiling of the Church of Saint Divy, near 
Landerneau, are in six groups, i. " David vulgo Devi ab angelo 
predicitur, terdenis priusquam nasceretur annis, prophetatus inoluit." 
The French inscription is " L'ange apparait a Xantho, roi de Walles, 
pere de Monsieur S. Divy, et lui annonce que le lendemain chassant, 
il rencontrerait, un cerf, un poisson et un essains d'abeilles, qui pro- 
nostiqueroient la saintete de S. Divy, son fils. Le cerf pronosti- 
querait son zele, le poisson son austerite, et 1'abeille sa sagesse." 
Xantus is represented asleep on a state bedstead, receiving the visit 
of the angel. The inscription is " Xanto patri." Above are hunts- 
men preparing for the chase with hounds, and going towards a mon- 
astery inscribed Nantanum. Before the monastery is a woman 
in white (S. Non), addressed by three persons, one of whom, bare- 
headed, bends the knee to her. The three symbolic animals are 
figured below. 

2. " Eodem tempore sanctus Patricius, angeli jussu, Rhosinam 
vallem dimittit, tendens Hyberniam, linquens David Meneviam." 
And the French inscription " Saint Patrice est adverty par un ange 
de quiter le vallon tres agreable, reserve pour Monsieur S. Divy qui 
devoit noistre de la a 1 rente ans, et passer en Hybernie pour en etre 
1'apotre, et s'embarquer au port Maugan. II ressuscite Runilher 
qu'il amene avec luy." This picture represents S. Patrick kneeling, 
and the angel appearing. The ground is covered with roses to indi- 

S. David 321 

cate the place, the name of which is written above, Traon Rhos. In 
the centre a man rises out of a tomb, on which is inscribed, " Runilher 
a xv annis hie sepultum, resuscitur." On the right a town with 
the name over it " Portus Maugan," and the sea beyond on which 
is a ship, also in the distance an island, inscribed Hybernia. 

3. " Gignit Xantus sanctum David de beata Nonnita, in tempore 
conceptionis duo grandes lapides apparuerunt de nova." And the 
French words, " Xantus, roi de Cornouailles, a present Wallis, en 
Angleterre, faisant rencontre de Sainte Nonne, engendre son fils, 
S. Divy, entre deux roches miraculeusement apparues. La terre 
s r amollit sous les coudes de Sainte Nonne, en enfantant Saint Divy, 
son fils." Below a rearing horse can be seen two heads, one that 
of a woman~wearing~~a croWrrr~and inscribed " Nonnita oppressa." 
In the centre of the picture, S. Nonna, in a long red dress with a 
white veil on her head and with a nimbus, and her rosary at her waist, 
has the right hand on her heart. Behind are two meini hirion, and 
below is the legend " Nonnita concipit." In the distance S. Nonna 
is kneeling on a rock by the child to whom she has given birth. 

4. " Puerquando baptizatur aqua coeco Mobo lumen datur oculos 
qui respersit." And the French, " Hilve, evesque de Menevie, baptisa 
S. Divy. Mobus, aveugle, son parrain, est illumine, se lavant les 
yeux de la nouvelle fontaine. S. Divy, estant escholier, rendit la 
vue a son maitre Paulinus, par le signe de la Croix." Mobus, with 
closed eyes, holds a child above a trough, and a bishop is baptizing 
the child. Further on Divy is advancing towards a doctor habited 
in black and wearing a cap and bands, and who is seated with closed 
eyes. In the rear other boys looking on inquisitively. 

5. " Dum predicat incredulo, humus tune colli similis surget . .(?) 
prius humile ac error evanuit (sic)." The French : "La terre se il 
leva sous les pieds de Monsieur S. Divy . . . de montagne. Lorsqu'il IA 
prescha dans le Concil de Brevy . . . Pelagiens, et un ange des- 
cendit comme un . . . qu'il devoit precher." S. David, seated 

on a conical height, holds a pastoral staff in one hand, a dove flutters 
near his right ear. A great crowd of persons, amongst them bishops, 
are listening attentively to his words. Above his head is inscribed 
" Sanctus David archiepiscopus. " 

6. " Esto praesens . . . patrone desolatis in agone. Salutem 
fer pastor bone, nostrae semper Trevid." And the French : " Dieu 
advertit S. Divy de sa mort prochaine, qui arriva 1'an 107 de son 
age." S. David is represented on his bed, S. Kentigern is bending over 
him and exhorting him. Jesus Christ, holding His Cross, appears 
to the Saint, from whose mouth issues a scroll on which is inscribed 
" Tolle me post te." 

VOL. n. Y 

322 Lives of the British Saints 

S. David is also patron of Bodivit in Plomelin, near Quimper. 
The Church is in ruins, and the statue of the Saint has been removed 
to the parish Church of Plomelin. Also of Plonevez Porzay, a chapel 
at Plouneour Menez and Tremeven. 

S. DAY, Monk, Confessor 

S. DAY, who has given his name to a parish in Cornwall, between 
Truro and Redruth, is probably the same as the Breton S. They 
or Dei. He is traditionally held in Brittany to have been a monk 
of Landevenec, and if so, then he must be the Tethgo whose name 
occurs in the Life of S. Winwaloe as that of a brother, moved by 
the spirit of inquisitiveness, who listened to a dispute that took place 
in the night between the Devil and the Abbot. He informed the 
other brethren of what he had heard, and they were all greatly 
edified. 1 

He never became abbot of Landevenec, but he seems to have 
been a founder on his own account. 

According to modern Breton tradition he was a native of Bor- 
deaux (!). God bade Jiim quit his native place, and settle in Brittany, 
and he disembarked at Pors-ar-Sent. A Breton ballad relates 

Sant They, erves an istor, a so guinidic deus a Vourdel 
Dre bermission Doue a so deud da chom a Breis-Izel. 

He resided for a while where is his newly constructed chapel ; and 
some lines put into his mouth declare 

Me vel bagou Breadic a pesketa ar Raz 

Hac oc'h ma guelet aman na rent hed de Sein. 

(I see the boats of Brehat fishing in the Raz of Sein, 

And little they concern themselves about my being here.) 

His chapel at the Cape of Cleden is in the midst of reminiscences 
of the work of S. Winwaloe. 2 

He was formerly patron of Locthei, near Pleyben. 3 

He has chapels at Cleden-Cap-Sizun ; Plouhinec, near Pont-Croix ; 

1 Vita S. Winwaloei, ed. Plaine, Anal. Boll., vi (1888), p. 224; ed. de la Boi 
derie, pp. 69-71. 

2 Les Chapelles du Cap Sizun, by M. Le Carguet, in Bull, de la Soc. des Anti- 
quaires de Finistere, xxvi (1899), p. 418. 

3 Called Locus Sancti Tadei in the Cartulary of Quimpcrtt, in 1163-86, ed. 
Leon Maitre and Paul de Berthou, Paris, 1896, p. 197. 

S. Decuman 323 

Pleherel ; Poullan, near Douarnenez ; and S. Segal, near Chateaulin ; 
and two on the Bay of Audierne, at S. Jean Trolimon, and S. They- 

At Pluduno, in Cotes du Nord, he is also venerated as S. Tayde 
or S. Ayde, and he is there represented as a monk with a long-sleeved 
habit, his head enveloped in a hood, and holding a closed book in 
his right hand. This is out of theWinwaloe region, and we cannot 
be certain that S. Tayde is the same as S. They. 

S. Day in Cornwall is also quite apart from the Winwaloe churches 
in that county. Perhaps Day may have broken his connexion with 
Landevenec owing to some dispute after the death of the great abbot. 

The Pardon at S. They in Plouhinec is on the second Sunday in 
July ; that at his chapel in Cleden-Cap-Sizun is on the first Sunday 
in July ; and that at Poullan is on the second Sunday in May. 

Garaby says of him only that he was a monk of Landevenec, but 
gives no day. Kerviller gives July u, but without stating his 

In Brittany, S. Dei or They is invoked by parents to ward off death 
from their sick children. 

S. DECUMAN, Hermit, Martyr 

THE authority for his Life is a Vita Sii. Decumani by John of 
Tynemouth, in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice ; reprinted in 
Ada SS. Boll., August, vi, pp. 24-25. It is merely an epitome of a 
Life now lost. 

He was born in the western part of Wales and was piously edu- 
cated. He resolved to leave his native place and crossed the Severn 
on a hurdle of rods " Virgas secus mare in fruteto, quas reperit 
crescentes, colligavit in fasciculum, et tali utens vehiculo misit se 
in profundum, et provectus est ad littus oppositum prope castrum 
Dorostorum " (Dunster). That is, in fact, he made a coracle, and 
crossed therein. 

At that time the district under Exmoor was desert " Vasta eremi, 
solitude frutetis et vepribus obsita, et densibile silvarum in longum 
et latum spaciose porrecta, montium eminentia sursum educta, et 
concavitate vallium mirabiliter interrupta. Haec ei sedes complacuit." 

Here, at S. Decombe's, he lived the life of a hermit for many years, 
nourishing himself on the milk of a cow. Here also he met his death 

324 Lives of the British Saints 

at the hands of a truculent fellow, a man of Belial, who cut off his 
head "cum quadam vauga," i.e., a spade; vauga is a misprint for 
vanga = sarcula. 

In Welsh his name occurs as Degymman, Degeman, and Degman ; 
but it is quite distinct from that of Tegfan, the patron of Llandegfan, 
Anglesey, which has been thought by Browne Willis and others to 
be the same. 

He is the patron, in Wales, of Rhoscrowther, Pembrokeshire, 
which was also formerly called Llanddegyman and. Eglwys Degeman. 
It occupies the site of one of the " Seven Bishop-houses (Esgobdy) 
in Dyfed," mentioned in the Demetian Code of the Welsh Laws. 1 
Its abbot, we are told, " should be graduated in literary degrees." 
There is an extinct chapel, Llandegeman, in the parish of Tretower, 
Breconshire. It is now a farm-house. 2 

Decuman is said to have died in 706. 

In the Bath Abbey Calendar he is entered as commemorated on 
August 27, also in the Wells Ordinal, and in the Altemps Martyro- 
logy of the thirteenth century, and in a Norwich Martyrology (Gotten 
MS. Julius, B. vii), by Wilson in his English Martyr ologe, 1608 and 
1640, and in AUwydd Paradwys, 1670. Curiously enough, not by 
Whytford. But the Calendar in Cott. Vesp. A. xiv, and Nicolas 
Roscarrock give August 30. 

Llanddegyman or Rhoscrowther may have been the place of his 
birth, as he is said, " ex illustriest prosapia oriundus in occidentali- 
bus Cambriae partibus, quae nunc Wallia nuncupatur." Not far 
from the Church was his Holy Well, S. Degman 's Well, arched over, 
to the waters of which great virtues were ascribed. 3 

His name has become S. Decombe in Somersetshire, where is his 
Church and parish, S. Decombe's, a little over five miles from Dunster. 
His Holy Well was long pointed out there. There was also a chapel 
dedicated to him in the parish of Wendron, near Helston, in Corn- 
wall. 4 

1 Ed. Aneurin Owen (folio), pp. 273, 794, 839. The earliest MS. of Hywel 
Dda's Laws is the twelfth century Peniarth MS. 28. 

8 The church of Pwllcrochan, adjoining Rhoscrowther, now usually given 
as dedicated to S. Mary, is said to have been originally dedicated to Decuman 
(Arch. Camb., 1888, p. 127). 

3 Fenton, Pembrokeshire, 1811, p. 400. 

4 Oliver, Monasticon Dioec. Exon., p. 443. 

S.' Deiniol 325 

S. DEDYW, Confessor 

IN the two versions of the Cognatio de Brychan are mentioned 
as sons of Clydwyn, the son of Brychan, " Clydouc sanctus et Dedyu 
sanctus " (Vesp. A. xiv), and " sancti Clydauc et Dettu " (Dom. i). 
In Jesus College MS. 20 they appear as " Clytawc sant, Hedetta 
sant." The Dedyn or Neubedd, and daughter Pedita, children of 
Clydwyn as given by Rees, 1 are misreadings Pedita being manu- 
factured out of Hedetta, which simply stands for ha Dettu, " and 
Dettu " ; and Neubedd is another name introduced, which occurs 
also as Neufedd. 

There can be no manner of doubt that we have here the name 
of the real patron of Llanddetty, 2 or, as it is now generally spelt, 
Llanthetty, in Breconshire. Rees and others say that the church 
is dedicated to " Tetta, abbess of Wimburn (Wimborne) in Wessex, 
about A.D. 750," 3 but this is a mere guess. In a will, proved 1533, 
in Harley Charter 111.6.35, it is called the Church of S. Dettutus, 4 
a Latinization of his name. 

No doubt he was the 'same person as the Detiu whose name occurs 
in the Cartulary of Llancarfan as one of Cadoc's three clerics who 
witnessed the grant of a church by him to his Irish disciple Macmoil. 5 




S. DEINIOL or DANIELj Abbot, Bishop, Confessor 

THERE is extant a Latin Life of S. Deiniol or Daniel, but it has 

1 Welsh Saints, pp. 143, 146. 

2 So spelt in the parish list circa 1566 in Peniarth MS. 147 and in the list in 
Myv. Arch., p. 747 ; Llanddettuye in a bond dated 1566 in Harley Charter in, 
B. 39. In the Taxatio of 1291 (p. 273) it is spelt JLandetten. 

3 P. 322; Theo. Jones, Brecknockshire, ed. 1898, p. 427. The first and last 
letters of Tetta are fatal to the equation of the name with that of the patron 
of Llanddetty. Whether we adopt the MS. d or / as the middle dental of his 
name, accented d becomes t in the Gwentian dialect. 

4 Catalogue of MSS. relating to Wales in Brit. Mus., by Mr. Edward Owen, 
P- 592- 

5 Cambro-British Saints, p. 88, and the corrected text of the Cadoc records 
in Dr. Seebohm, Tribal System in Wales, 1895, P- 2O 7- 

326 Lives of the British Saints 

never been published. Only one copy of it is known, which occurs 
in Peniarth MS. 226, and was transcribed from an " ancient " MS. 
by Sir Thomas Williams, of Trefriw, in 1602. It is entitled Legenda 
novem lectionum de S. Daniele Ep'o Bangoriensi. 1 A poem, written 
in 1527, by Sir David Trevor, parson of Llanallgo, of which there 
is a copy in Cardiff MS. 7, also gives a few details. The little that 
is known of him is of a very fragmentary character. 

Deiniol was the son of Abbot Dunawd Fwr or Dinothus, son of 
Pabo Post Prydyn, by Dwywai, daughter of Lleenog. 2 He is often 
called Deiniol Wyn, the Blessed. He was the brother of SS. Cynwyl 
and Gwarthan, and the father of S. Deiniolen ; but his wife's name 
is nowhere mentioned. 

Pabo and his family, having lost their territories in North Britain, 
retired to Wales, where they were well received by Cyngen ab Cadell 
Deyrnllwg, king of Powys, who granted them lands, and whose son 
and successor, Brochwel Ysgythrog, married Arddun, Pabo's daughter. 
His son Dunawd, embracing the religious life, founded the monastery 
of Bangor in Maelor, otherwise Bangor Iscoed, on the Dee, with the 
assistance of Cyngen, who, as well as Brochwel, generously provided 
for it, and it remained, we are told, during its brief existence " under 
the protection of the race of Cadell." 3 

The late Glamorgan hagiological documents printed in the lolo 
MSS. state, for the glorification of Cadoc, that Dunawd's three 
sons were disciples of Cadoc at Llancarfan, and that he sent them 
to be " directors and principals " of Bangor in Maelor, " and in con- 
sequence of the wisdom and piety of these three brothers it became 
the most honourable and numerous its saints of all the Bangors in 
Britain." 4 It is likely enough that they assisted their father in 
its foundation. 

Deiniol, however, does not appear to have remained long at Bangor 
in Maelor. He left Powys for Gwynedd, where he founded the 
monastery of Bangor in Carnarvonshire, under the patronage of 
Maelgwn Gwynedd, 5 who largely endowed it with lands and privileges, 
and, it is said, raised it to the rank of an episcopal see, conterminous, 

1 See Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, pp. 105 1-2, where the beginning 
and the end of the Legenda are printed. So far we have not been able to get a 
copy of it. Deiniol's name, like a few other Hebrew names adopted at an early 
period, bears a duly naturalized Welsh form. The oxytone Atm^X yielded in 
earlier Welsh Deinioel, becoming later Deiniol. 

2 Peniarth MSS. 16 and 45, Hafod MS. 16, Hanesyn H&n, pp. 25, 113, Myv. 
Arch., p. 423, lolo MSS., pp. 102, 127. The later genealogies give his mother as 
daughter of Gwallog ab Lleenog ab Llyr Merini. 

3 lolo MSS., p. 126. 4 Ibid., pp. 129, 151. 

6 Deiniol's name occurs among the witnesses of the grant by Maelgwn to 

From i5th century glass in Chancel window, Llandyrnog Church, Denbighshitr, 


328 Lives of the British Saints 

as to-day, with the principality of Gwynedd. Here Deiniol spent 
the remainder of his days, as abbot and bishop. 

It is stated in the Book of Llan Ddv that Deiniol was consecrated 
bishop of Bangor by Dubricius. A note of later date among its 
marginalia, however, says that it was Teilo that consecrated him, 
and that thus the see became subject to the archbishopric of Llan- 
daff * a preposterous assertion. Rees 2 was of opinion that he 
was probably consecrated by S. David, " as there was reason to assert 
that he and his relatives had lived for some time under the pro- 
tection of that Saint at Llanddewi Brefi, where churches still retained 
their names." He was apparently not aware of the Llandaff claim. 

We know but little of Bangor in Arfon, or Bangor Fawr, as com- 
pared with some of the other Welsh monastic foundations. Some 
of the sons of Helig ab Glannog were saints or monks of it ; and 
on the destruction of Bangor Iscoed by Ethelfrid in 607 or 613 some 
of the monks that escaped came hither. Deiniol is said to have 
been succeeded by his son Deiniol the Younger ; and the next bishop 
whose name is known was Elfod " Bishop of Caergybi," who " re- 
moved his palace to Bangor Deiniol." 3 He is styled Archbishop 
of Gwynedd, and died in 809. 

Deiniol was present at the Synod of Brefi, which took place some 
time before 569, probably in 545. It is represented that it was con- 
vened to put down Pelagianism, but what we know of the canons 
passed by the Welsh Church at this time shows that there was no 
concern felt about any heresy affecting the Church ; what was under 
consideration was penitential regulations. No agreement having 
been come to by the Synod, Paulinus advised that S. David should 
be sent for ; he knew his worth and force of character. But the 
messengers despatched failed to induce him to come. At last Deiniol 
and Dyfrig went, and they succeeded in overcoming his scruples, 
and brought him with them. 4 

Sir David Trevor, in his poem, speaks of Deiniol as " one of the 
seven blessed cousins," 5 who had spent part of his early life as a 
hermit " on the arm of Pembrokeshire," but God called him to be 
a bishop, deficient though his education was. He performed many 
miracles. Thieves stole a ploughman's oxen ; Deiniol yoked stags 
in their stead, and made the thieves " lie upon the ground like stones." 

Kentigern in the Red Book of S. Asaph (p. 119) in the Episcopal Library at 
S. Asaph. 

1 Pp. 71, 337. * Welsh Saints, p. 259. 3 lolo MSS., p. 127. 

* Vita S. David in Cambro-British Saints, p. 137. 

6 For their names see Ibid., p. 271, and Myv. Arch., p. 423. 

S. Deiniol 329 

A woman had taken poison ; she drank of the water of his well, and 
immediately threw up " numberless worms." The Latin Legenda 
says that she was a woman of Caerwy, or Carew, in the neighbour- 
hood of Pembroke, for whom physicians could do nothing. She 
came to the Church of S. Daniel, on the mountain, and, after drink- 
ing of the water of the well, returned to the door of the Church, and 
before all " ex ore suo ejecit tres vermes horribiles cum quatuor 
pedibus in singulis." 

Deiniol received a somewhat extensive cult, especially in North 
Wales, to judge from the impress his name has left upon the topo- 
graphy. The Churches themselves dedicated to him are not many, 
and their distribution does not help one to ascertain the probable 
extent of his Diocese, on the principle adopted by Rees. He is the 
patron of the Cathedral Church of Bangor and also of the Diocese. 
The only memorial of him at Bangor Iscoed is Cae Ffynnon Daniel, 
mentioned in Norden's Survey, 1620, as the name of a field in that 
parish. Hawarden Church has two dedication festivals, the one 
on December 10, S. Deiniol's Day, and the other on September 14, l 
the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the latter probably in reference 
to the tenth century local legend of the Roodee. There is a place 
in the parish still called Daniel's Ash. To him is also dedicated 
the Church of Marchwiel, near Wrexham It is given by some as 
dedicated to S. Marcella (September 5, Browne Willis) or S. Mar- 
cellus, but these are mere guesses from the name. There is a tene- 
ment, of some fifteen acres, near the Church, called Tyddyn Daniel, 
purchased in 1626, and its rental is applied to " the repair and use 
of the Church " (terrier, 1749). Browne Willis says that the church 
" was formerly called S. Daniel's chapel, and belonged to the mon 
astery of Bangor, and after its destruction took the present name, 
from the materials of which the former Church was built " 2 i.e., 
marchwiail, saplings. Worthenbury, in Flintshire, which until 1689 
was a chapelry belonging to Bangor, is dedicated to Deiniol. 3 To 
him are also dedicated the churches of Llanuwchllyn and Llanfor, 
near Bala, in the diocese of S. Asaph. It is said that the former 
was at some remote time called Llanddeiniol uwch y Llyn, and the 

1 The wake was held on the first Sunday after Old Holy Cross, usually the 
first Sunday in October (Memoir of Hawarden Parish, Chester, 1822, p. 75). 
Edward Lhuyd in his Itinerary, 1699, says under Hawarden, " Wakes abt. 
1 5 Sept." The S. Deiniol's Library and Residence at Hawarden was founded and 
endowed by the late Mr. W. E. Gladstone for the promotion of Divine Learning. 

2 Quoted by Archdeacon Thomas, Hist, of Diocese of S. Asaph, 1908, i, 
p. 454. This derivation is on a par with the dedications of the church given 
above. 3 Browne Willis, Bangor, p. 359, gives it as S. Dinoth. 

33 Lives of the British Saints 

latter Llanddeiniol is y Llyn, 1 in contradistinction. It is generally 
supposed that Llanfor, like Llannor in Carnarvonshire, is dedicated 
to S. Mor ab Ceneu ; but the earlier form of both names was Llan- 
fawr, i.e., the Large Church. Moreover, the wakes at Llanfor followed 
S. Deiniol's Day, September u, and there is a Ffynnon Ddaniel by 
the churchyard fence. Rees 2 gives a Nantgyndanyll, in Carnar- 
vonshire, as dedicated to him. It is now unknown, but it is prob- 
ably a mistake for Llangwnadl (S. Gwynhoedl), also called Nangwnadl. 
In a document circa 1498 " an Isle in the See called Seynt Danyell's 
Isle, otherwise called Ennys Moylronyon " 3 (the Seals' Island) is 
mentioned as belonging to the See of Bangor. It is off the north 
coast of Anglesey, and is now known as the Skerries. 

In South Wales there are a few dedications to him : Llanddeiniol 
or Carrog, in Cardiganshire, at one time a prebend in the collegiate 
Church of Llanddewi Brefi ; and the chapel of S. Daniel or Deiniol, 
about a mile south of Pembroke, once attached to Monkton Priory. 
It was on an eminence, and in Fenton's time had become a " Methodist 
conventicle." 4 The Church of Itton, in Monmouthshire, formerly 
called Llanddeiniol, is dedicated to him, and seems to be the Church 
mentioned in the Book of LlanDdv as LannDiniul (Diniuilor Dineul). 
Llangarran (near the river Garran), in Herefordshire, is also ascribed 
to Deiniol. 5 Near the Church of Penally, Pembrokeshire, is the 
Holy Well of S. Deiniol or Daniel, and another in the parish of Pen- 
bryn, Cardiganshire. 

His festival day is given in the Welsh Calendars on September 
n, and occurs in a good number from the fifteenth century down- 
wards. The Wakes at Llanuwchllyn and Llanfor were on this day, 
and a fair is still held at the former on the 22nd. December i is 
also given in Allwydd Paradwys and Willis' Bangor (p. 272) ; and 
December 10 by Ussher and Rees. There was a fair held at Hawarden 
on the loth (O.S.), and later on the 2 ist. Not a single early Calendar, 
however, enters him in December. 

Deiniol died according to the Annales Cambriae in 584, and was 
buried in Bardsey. 6 

1 y Traethodydd, 1877, p. 69. S. Deiniol for Llanfor occurs in Willis, Bangor, 
p. 362 ; Liber Regis, ed. Bacon, 1786, p. 1049 ; and J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh 
MSS., i, p. 913. 

2 Welsh Saints, p. 332. 3 Willis, Bangor, p. 244. 

4 Pembrokeshire, 1811, p. 375. In the Valor of 1535 (iv, p. 387) it is called 
" Libera Capella Sancti Danielis juxta Pembr'." 

5 Arch. Camb., 1861, p. 115. Gwallter Mechain in a MS. note: " Llech 
Ddeinioel, Llanrhaiadr in Cynmeirch, where was a building, but now a long 
pavement." Giraldus, Itin. Camb., ii, c. 6. 

S. Deiniol 331 

He is represented, with SS. Asaph,\Vinefred, and Marchell, in fifteenth 
century glass in the chancel window of Llandyrnog Church, in the Vale 
of Clwyd. There was formerly a figure of him in a window on the 
south side of the Choir of Bangor Cathedral. Bishop Sheffington 
(died 1533) in his will directed that his body be buried at Beaulieu, 
and his " Harte be caryed to Bangor, there to be buryed in the 
Cathedrall Churche, before the Pictour of Saint Daniell." x 

He is not infrequently referred to or invoked by the mediaeval 
Welsh bards, and especially by Dafydd ab Gwilymand Lewis Glyn 
Cothi. The former exclaims in one passage, " Myn Delw Deinioel ! " 2 
(By Deiniol's image !) 

He is mentioned in the Life of S. Elgar, 3 who had been ship- 
wrecked on Bardsey Island, and had lived there as a hermit for 
seven years. Caradog hearing of him, came to interview him. Elgar 
told him that holy spirits ministered to him day and night, and that, 
although separated from him, yet when he met them he knew them 
by their frequent intercourse. They were Dubricius, Daniel, bishop 
of the Church of Bangor, Padarn, and many others, whose bodies 
lay buried in that island. 4 

That he was for a while in Brittany is probable, as he is venerated 
there as S. Denoual, at a church bearing that name near Matig- 
non in Cotes du Nord, and at Plangenoual in the same department, 
near Pleneuf ; also at La Harmoye, where Gildas had a settlement. 
There was a statue of him habited as a monk at Saint Denoual, 
which was destroyed during the Revolution in 1793. Ploudaniel, 
in Finistere, does not apparently take its name from him, but from 
some British lay settler of the same name. He probably crossed 
in 547, flying from the Yellow Plague. 

His festival is given by O'Gorman and Maguire, and in the Mar- 
tyrologies of Donegal and Tallagh, as that of Daniel, Bishop of 
Bennchoir, on September n, his generally received day of com- 
memoration in Wales. 

1 Willis, Bangor, p. 246; cf. pp. 17, 98. The Chapter seal has a figure of 
him habited, with mitre and crozier (Ibid., p. 45). 

2 Works, ed. 1789, p. 291 ; cf. p. 171. In the Hoianau occurs the line 
(Black Book of Carmarthen, ed. Evans, 1906, p. 56) : 

When Deinoel, the son of Dunawd Deinwyn, becomes enraged. 
There seems to be an allusion here to the burning of Bangor by King John in 
1210 (Ibid., p. xxviii; Brnts, Oxford, p. 347). 

3 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 3. 

4 The prophet Daniel (Deinioel) is somewhat similarly introduced in the 
Life of S. Beuno. According to one of the Triads of the third or latest series, 
Deiniol was one of " the three Holy Bachelors (Gwynfebydd) of the Isle of Britain " 
(Myv. Arch., p. 409). 

Lives of the British Saints 

S. DEINIOL THE YOUNGER, Abbot, Confessor 

AN entry in the loloMSS. 1 states, " Deinioel, the son of Deinioel 
ail ab Dunawd ab Pabo Post Prydain, was a Saint of Bangor Maelor, 
upon the destruction of which he went to Gwynedd uwch Conwy, 
where he presided over the Cor of Bangor Fawr in Arllechwedd, 
which is called Bangor Deinioel, in the time of Cadwaladr Fendigaid, 
who gave lands towards that Cor." The word ail, second, is here 
clearly misplaced, as it must refer to Deinioel the Younger, known 
also as Deiniolfab and Deiniolen, 2 the son of Deiniol the Elder, Abbot 
of Bangor in Arfon. He was, as far as we know, his only son. He 
was brought up under his grandfather at Bangor Iscoed, and is said 
to have succeeded his father in the abbacy. 

Leland 3 says of him " erat, ut ferunt, discipulus Kibii, vel, ut 
quidam volunt, Beunoi." He was most probably a disciple of Beuno, 
as his name occurs in the list of six persons supposed to have been 
raised from the dead by that Saint (Peniarth MS. 75) . 

He is the founder of two Churches, Llanddeiniolfab or Llanddeiniol, 
under Llanidan, in Anglesey, and Llanddeiniolen, in Carnarvon- 
shire. In the former parish is Ffynnon Ddaniel, which had the pro- 
perty of removing warts ; whilst in the latter is Ffynnon Ddeiniolen, 
a little distance south of the Church, on the road side, which was 
formerly in great repute in rheumatic and scorbutic cases. In the 
latter parish is also situated the well-known chalybeate spring, 
Ffynnon Cegin Arthur (the Well of Arthur's Kitchen). 

Deiniolen 's festival is given as November 22 in Welsh Calendars 
of the sixteenth century and later, and also in many Welsh Almanacks 
of the eighteenth century, and by Browne Willis. 4 It occurs, how- 
ever, as the 23rd in the Cambrian Register, 5 which is followed by 
many subsequent writers. The wake in the Anglesey parish was 
on the 23rd, 6 and not on September n (S. Deiniol the Elder), as 
given by Browne Willis, Angharad Llwyd, and others. 

1 P. 127. 

2 This form led Lewis Morris, naturally enough, to call him " Deiniolen 
Sanies " (Celtic Remains, p. 127). The suffix is, apparently, diminutive. 

3 Collectanea, 1774, iv, p. 85 ; I tin. in Wales, ed. L. T. Smith, 1906, p. 129. 

4 Bangor, p. 272. 

5 iii, p. 223 (1818). 

6 Arch. Camb., 1846, p. 435. 

S. Derfel Gadarn 333 

S. DERFEL GADARN, Confessor 

DERFAEL or Derfel Gadarn was son of Hywel Mawr ab Emyr Llydaw 
by Alma Pompeia, and the brother of Dwyfael (lolo MSS.) or Dwywai 
(Myv. Arch.), Arthfael, and Hywel Fychan (father of SS. Cristiolus 
and Rhystud). Hywel the Elder is called Hywel Faig or Farchog, 
and is said to have been buried at Llantwit Major. Derfael, Dwyfael 
and Arthfael were " saints " of Llantwit, and the first two are supposed 
to have afterwards gone with Cadfan, their cousin, to Bardsey. 1 If 
the Breton tradition be trustworthy there was another brother, S. 
Tudwal, bishop of Treguier, whose mother was Alma Pompeia. Arth- 
fael became a man of great ecclesiastical import in Brittany. 

Derfel is usually given the epithet Cadarn? " the Mighty." In 
early life he was a warrior, and his might and prowess in war are 
constantly alluded to by the mediaeval Welsh bards. He is reported 
to have been present at the battle of Camlan, in 537, when he greatly- 
distinguished himself. 3 

He is the patron of Llandderfel, Merionethshire, where his wooden 
image was held in high reverence, as we find from correspondence 
that took place at the Reformation. 4 Dr. Ellis Prys or Price (generally 
known as Y Doctor Coch, of Plas lolyn, Co. Denbigh), Cromwell's 
Commissary -General for the Diocese of S. Asaph, in a letter dated 
April 6, 1538, wrote desiring special instructions as to what to do with 
respect to the image of " Darvel Gadarn," " in whome the people 
have so greate confidence, hope, and truste, that they cumme dayly 
a pilgramage unto hym, somme with kyne, other with oxen or horsis, 
and the reste withe money : in so muche that there was fyve or syxe 
hundrethe pilgrames, to a mans estimacion, that offered to the saide 
Image 5 the fifte daie of this presente monethe of Aprill. The innocente 

1 lolo MSS., pp. 112, 133; Myv. Arch., p. 424. Derfel is sometimes said, 
but wrongly, to be brother to Cristiolus and Rhystud. In the name Maelderw 
we seem to have the compounds transposed. 

* Compare Efrog Gadarn, Hawys Gadarn, Ercwlff Gadarn, Ector Gadarn, etc. 

3 Lewis Glyn Cothi, Works, 1837, pp. 19, 216; Cefn Coch MSS., 1899, PP- 
304, 430 ; Cynfeirdd Lleyn, 1905, p. 16 ; the collected poems of Howel Swrdwal, 
ed. J. C. Morrice, 1908, p. 20. 

4 Cotton MS. Cleopatra E. iv ; Wright, Suppression of the Monasteries, Camden 
Series, p. 190 ; Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry 
VIII, ed. Jas. Gairdner. Bp. Bailow in his letter, written about 1539, to 
Cromwell, asking him to translate the see from S. David's to Carmarthen, refers 
him to " Dervel gadern Conoch, and such other Welsh gods, antique gargels of 
idolatry" (printed in Fenton, Pembrokeshire, ed. 1903, p. 335). Michael 
Wodde in his Dialogue between two Neighbours, 1554, says, " If the Welchman 
wold have a pursse, he praied to Darvel Gatherne." 

5 The Taxatio of 1291 and Valor of 1535 take no notice of these offerings. 

334 Lives of the British Saints 

people hathe ben sore alured and entisid to worshipe the said Image, 
in so muche that there is a commyn sayinge as yet amongist them, 
that who so ever will offer anie thinge to the saide Image of Darfel- 
gadarn, he hathe power to fatche hym or them that so offers oute of 
Hell when they be dampned." 

He was instructed to send it up to London, but the people remon- 
strated. In a second letter he says that " the person and the pary- 
sheners profered him fortie powndes that the said Ymage shulde not 
be convaide to London," and because he had refused, they were 
coming up to make their complaint in person. 

An excerpt from Hall's Chronicles completes the history of the 
image. There was a Franciscan Friar, John Forest, of Greenwich, 
confessor to Catherine of Aragon, who, for denying the King's supre- 
macy was condemned to be burnt in Smithfield, May 22, 1538. " A 
little before the execution a huge and great Image (Derfel's) was 
brought to the gallows. The Welshmen had a prophecy that this 
Image should set a whole forest afire ; which prophecy now took 
effect, for he set this friar Forest on fire, and consumed him to nothing. 

" Upon the gallows that he died on was set up, in great letters, 
these verses following : 

David Darvel Gatheren, 
As sayth the Welshman, 

Fetched outlawes out of Hell ; 
Now is he come with spere and sheld, 
In harnes to burne in Smithfeld, 

For in Wales he may not dwel. 

And Foreest the Freer, 
That obstinate Iyer, 

That wylfully shal be dead, 
In his contumacye 
The Gospel doeth deny, 

The Kyng to be supreme heade. 

Bishop Latimer was requested to preach at the execution. He 
replied that he was quite ready " to play the fool after his customable 
manner when Forest should suffer," and he desired that his stage 
might stand near Forest, so that the poor martyr might hear what he 
howled forth. But he expressed his fear lest the man should be too 
well treated in Newgate, and that he should be allowed before his 
death to receive the Sacrament. The whole letter is not pleasant 
reading. Forest was suspended in chains from a pair of gallows with 
Derfel underneath him ; the wooden image was set on fire, and Forest 
perished slowly in the flames. 

There are still preserved at Llandderfel, in the church porch, certain 
relics of Derfel, which are popularly called his Ceffyl (horse) and Ffon 

S. D erf el G a darn 335 

(stick). Some have said that the " horse " is a lion, others a stag. 
The relics are now in a very mutilated and worm-eaten condition. 
The staff, of which there is but a short piece left, measuring 
44 in. long and 6 in. in circumference, with four bosses on it, 
was once gilded, and must have been rather heavy. It has been 
variously pronounced to be a crozier, sword, and lance. 

There is a reference to the " horse " in the parish registers, which 
record an application in 1626 to the bishop for permission to erect a 
reading-seat on the north side of the church at a spot where " there 
is now a wooden Image of a Redd Stagg as a relique of the Image of 
Dervell Gadarn." The Rural Dean in 1730 ordered the figure, then 
placed near the altar rails, to be decapitated. Stag or steed, it has 
suffered very much. Its hind legs are gone, and the front part of its 
head has been struck off. The neck is slightly movable in its socket, 
and there is a short tail resembling more a stag's than a horse's. On 
the back of the figure there is a square cavity, in which Derfel's image 
was probably inserted, and another larger cavity in the side, where 
the pole, mentioned below, was fixed. The latter hollow is said to 
have at one time served the purpose of a pig trough. The " horse " 
is 48 in. in length, 17 in. high at shoulder, and 31 in. high to top of its 
head. 1 

Annually, on Easter Tuesday, it used to be brought out and carried 
in procession to Bryn Sant, the great gathering point, where, fixed to 
a pole placed in a horizontal position, attached to another placed 
perpendicularly, and resting on a pivot, it afforded a ride to the 
juveniles and others, after the manner of a wooden horse at a fair. 
The rider took hold of the staff, which was fastened to the horse. 
People used to resort hither on these occasions from all parts of the 

This must have been Derfel's horse, which does not appear to have 
been taken up to London. On it was placed, astride, the wooden 
image of the saint, represented in armour (" harnes "), and holding a 
" spere and sheld." The equestrian figure was probably set up at his 

The offerings to him of " kyne, oxen, and horsis " imply that he 
was regarded as their special patron. Some late Welsh writers say 
that he was Abbot of Bardsey. 2 

1 We are indebted to Mr. C. E. Morgan, late of Llandderfel Rectory, for these 
details of the relics. See also Archdeacon Thomas, 5. Asaph, ist ed., pp. 697-9, 
and Lewis Glyn Cothi, Works, p. 216. 

2 It has been surmised that a place at Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merionethshire, 
called Llys Dorfil, may have been his residence in his military days. (Owen 
Jones, Cymru, 1875, i, p. 407.) 

336 Lives of the British Saints 

Ffynnon Dderfel is on the hill, Garth y Llan, to the west of the 
church, about 500 yards off, and seems to have been at one time 
conveyed to the church. The hilly field close to the rectory is called 
Bryn Sant, 1 which was also the name of the old rectory, but the present 
house often goes under the name of Bryn Derfel. 

Derfel's festival, April 5, occurs in most of the early Welsh calendars. 

There were formerly two chapels in the parish of Llanfihangel 
juxta Llantarnam, Monmouthshire, the one named Llanderfil or S. 
Derval's, and the other S. Dial's. Both are now in ruins, but the 
former was still used in 1535, as may be gathered from the Valor 2 of 
that date, where it is entered as " Capella S'ti Dervalli," and belonging 
to the Cistercian Abbey of Caerleon. Rees 3 ascribes it to Derfel 
Gadarn. In a Survey of the Manor of Llandimor, made in the time 
of Queen Elizabeth, Der veil's Well is mentioned as the source of the 
Burry, which falls into the Lough,er. 4 

A saint variously called Dervel and Dervet is venerated at Plozevet 
in the Bigauden district of Finistere, on the sea by Plogastel S. Germain. 
Nothing is known of him, but he is represented in the church mitred 
and with pastoral staff 

SS. DERIEN and NEVENTER, Confessors 

ALL that we know of these saints is from the Life of S. Rioc, extracted 
by Albert le Grand from the MSS. of Landevennec and Daoulas, now 
lost. As De Kerdanet says, " Le P. Albert le Grand a donne de 
ces deux saints une histoire aussi detaillee que s'ils avaient vecu de 
nos jours." 5 Albert employed as well an old Life preserved in his 
day in the parish church of Plouneventer, that was lost at the Revolu- 
tion. We are unhappily unable to say, accordingly, how much he 
extracted from these documents and how much is due to his imagi- 

Derien, a contraction of Adrian, and Neventer were two British 
colonists who settled, in the fifth century, in Leon to the north of the 
Elorn. As there are traces here of colonization by one branch of the 
family of Ceredig ab Cunedda, it is possible that they also may have 

1 " Bryn y Sanct," about an acre and a half of glebe, is mentioned in the 
terrier of 1682, and later ones. " Out of that p'te whereof wch. lyeth on the 
North side of a pearle of water therin issueth sixpence yearly time out of minde " 
from the rector to the owner of Plas Isa. 

2 iv, p. 365. Its oblations are entered at 26s. 8d. per ann. 

3 Welsh Saints, p. 342. 

4 J. D. Davies, West Gower, ii, p. 189. 

6 Albert Le Grand, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, ed. Kerdanet, i836,""p. xlvii. 

SS. Derien and Nev enter 337 

pertained to this stock, but the Welsh genealogies afford us no light 

Neventer formed a plou or tribe, and a parish bears his name to 
this day ; and the adjoining parish is called Saint Derrien. Both are 
near Landivisiau. 

One day as these two were walking beside the Elorn, then called 
Dour-Doun (the deep water), they came to that portion of the river 
above which rises precipitously a rock of snow-white quartz sur- 
mounted by a caer, in the possession of a native chief of the country, 
belonging to the original race of occupants of the land ; his name was 
Elorn. They found him drowning in the stream, and both plunged 
in and succeeded in rescuing him. 

Derien and Neventer asked Elorn how he came to tumble into the 
water, and then he told them a sad tale. A dragon lived near by, 
and it was the custom, once a week, that lots should be drawn, and he 
on whom the lot fell was bound to provide a man to be sent to be 
devoured by the dragon. Elorn had already been compelled to furnish 
food in this way for the monster, and now the lot had again fallen on 
him, and none were left to him and his wife but one son, a child in 
years, and rather than witness the sacrifice of this child, he had thrown 
himself into the river, thus to end his woes. Derien and Neventer, 
moved by this dismal tale, undertook to destroy the dragon. This 
they effected, and then demanded that the child should be given up to 
be baptized and educated in the Christian faith. Elorn himself, though 
he had suffered so much in his paganism, obstinately refused to abandon 
the religion of his ancestors. The child Rioc, however, he surrendered, 
and he became eventually a monk in the monastery of Landevennec. 

The place where the dragon was destroyed and flung into the sea 
was Poullbeuzaneual near Plouneour-trez on the north coast of Leon. 
Then, at the instigation of the saints, but reluctantly, Elorn furnished 
material for the construction of a church at Plouneventer. However, 
according to Albert le Grand, he did this with such a bad grace that 
the church was not completed till a century later. 

Such is the legend, and it is not difficult to see that it contains some 
traces of early tradition. 

We shall point out when we come to the Life of S. Paul of Leon, 
that these dragon stories are based on the practice of the early dusky 
race to make sacrifice annually to their pagan deities to obtain fertility 
to their fields and increase to their cattle ; and that the manner of 
making the sacrifice was to enclose the victim in a wicker-work figure 
of a monster and consume it by fire, and then to take the ashes and 
distribute them about the fields. 

VOL. II. 7 



3 3 8 Lives of the British Saints 

This, perhaps, explains the story. The lot had fallen on the child 
of Elorn, and the victim was saved by the intervention of the two 
British Christian colonists, who peremptorily put an end to these 
human sacrifices. 

Le Grand exaggerates when he says that these took place every 
week; they were performed once in the year, at Midsummer. 

We know nothing further of Derien and Neventer. 

That they extended their authority further south is possible, as 
Derien is culted at Commana, on the slopes of the Monts d'Arree. 
He is patron of Drenec, the adjoining parish to Plouneventer on the 
west, as he is at S. Adrien on the east. 

He was also formerly honoured at Duault, where Rioc was culted. 
At Drenec is a statue of him as a priest in sacerdotal vestments and 
with mitre and crozier ; the statue is early, attributed to the thirteenth 
century. At Commana he is represented as a monk holding an open 
book in both hands. The reason why he appears as a bishop or abbot 
is that he has been replaced by S. Adrian of Canterbury. 

Neventer figures as a Roman warrior at Plouneventer. The Pardon 
there is on the ist Sunday in May. He does not appear in the author- 
ized calendars. Garaby gives May 7. 

Dom Morice identifies Derien with Audrien or Aldor, son of Solomon 
ab Erbin, and a brother of S. Cybi. This, however, can hardly be 
maintained. We do not know that Solomon or Selyf had a son of 
that name. 

S. Winwaloe died in 532, and Rioc about 562, so we may put the 
date of Derien and Neventer as about the end of the fifth and beginning 
of the sixth centuries. 

The Derien who is remembered with chilly indifference at Bourbriac 
and Ploulech in Cotes du Nord, cannot be the same as the saint on 
the Elorn. 

Derien is invoked in the tenth century Litany of the Missal of S. 
Vouge. 1 


S. DERWE, Virgin, Martyr 

ONE of the company of Irish that came over and occupied Pen- 
with and Carnmarth, in Cornwall. Derwe was, perhaps, killed, as 
her Martyrium was in Camborne parish at Mertherderwa, or Mena- 
derva as it is now called, where was a chapel dedicated to SS. Hia 
and Derwe. It existed till late in the Middle Ages, as well as a 
Bridge of Derwa. 

1 Revue Celtique, xi, p. 141. 

S. D 



As the names of the patrons of Camborne (Cambron, the crooked 
hill) are given as Hia and Derwe, 1 it is reasonable to suppose that 
Derwe is a female. Had Derwe been a male, the order would have 
been SS. Derwe and Hia. 

The name is certainly Irish, and the association with S. Hia indicates 
that Derwe was Irish. 

Derwe is probably the same as Der-chartain, of Oughterard, in 
Kildare. The name signifies " Daughter of the Rowan-tree," which 
was used to drive away witches. When S. Senan was born his mother 
laid hold of a rowan brartch. If the identification of S. Illogan with 
Illodhan, son of Cormac, King of Leinster, be allowed, then she and 
S. Ethnia (Stithiana) were his sisters. 

On the hill of Oughterard are the ruins of her church and of a 
round tower. This is in the same barony of Salt as the church of 
her brother at Castle Dillon. Her day in the Marlyrology of Donegal 
is March 8 ; her date of death about 560. Nothing is known of her 

There is good reason for believing that S. Stithiana of Stythians 
is her sister Etaine or Ethnia, as the feast at Stythians is on old S. 
Etaine's Day. Moreover Camborne Fair is on March 7, the eve of 
S. Derchartain. They were aunts of S. Credan, disciple of S. Petrock 
and founder of Sancreed. 


King of Leinster, 

d. before 410. 

K. of Leinster, 
bapt. by S. Patrick 460, 
d. 506. 


K. of Leinster, 
bapt. by S. Patrick 460, 
d. 482. 


K. of Leinster, 

d. 535- 





Cairbre the Black, 

S. Illodhan 

S. Derchartain 

S. Etaine 

K. of Leinster, 


(Derwe of 



Feb. 2. 


of Stythians) 



March 8. 

July 6. 


S. Credan, 

J J 

K. of Leinster, 

disc, of S. Petrock, 

d. 580. 

May ii. 



sent as a babe 

to S. Kevin ; 

K. of Leinster, 

d. 663. 

1 Dr. Borlase, MS. Par. Mem., p. 16, 

34 Lives of the British Saints 

S. DEWI, see S. DAVID 

S. DIGAIN, King, Confessor 

DIGAIN was brother of S. Erbin, and son of Cystennin Gorneu. J 
In a late sixteenth century list of parishes he is called Digain Frenin. 2 
He lived early in the fifth century, and is said to have founded Llan- 
gernyw, " the Church of the Cornishman," in Denbighshire, which 
is situated not far from Llangystennin, founded by his father. They 
are in the same Deanery. Sometimes his brother Erbin is coupled 
with him in the dedication. In the parish is a wood called Coed 

He is also supposed to have founded the now extinct church of 
Llangernyw, in the Valley Dore, in the district of Erging, Hereford- 
shire. It occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv as Lann Cerniu, 3 also called 
Cenubia ( = Cernubia), and identical with Cum Barruc. 4 In Erging 
is also the church of Lann Custenhin Garth Benni, now Welsh Bicknor. 

His Festival, which is found in a good number of the early Welsh 
Calendars, is on November 2i. 5 

S. DIHEUFYR or DEIFER, Hermit, Confessor 

THIS Saint's name is spelt in a variety of forms, Diheufyr, Diefer, 
Deifer, Dihaer, Dier, and Diar. According to the older genealogies 
he was the son of Hawystl or Awystl Gloff (the Lame) by Tywan- 
wedd, daughter of Amlawdd Wledig, and the brother of Tyfrydog, 
Teyrnog, Tudur and Marchell. 6 The late lolo MS. documents state 
that they were Saints of Bangor Iscoed, and afterwards of Bardsey. 

1 Myv. Arch., pp. 423, 425 ; lolo MSS., p. 137. At the last reference he is 
given another brother, Yscwn, but probably by mistake for Ysgin, son of Erbin, 
Myv. Arch., p. 431. 

2 Dr. J. G. Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 914. 

3 There is a church called Coed Cernyw, dedicated to All Saints, between 
Newport and Cardiff. 

4 Owen, Pembrokeshire, ii, p. 273. It does not seem that it occupied the 
site of Abbey Dore. 

5 The Rural Dean, in his Report for 1749, states that it was customary to hold 
the five annual fairs of the parish in the churchyard, one of which fell on Novem- 
ber 18 (O.S.). 

6 Peniarth MS. 16 (as Dyeuer), cf. MS. 45 and Mostyn MS. 114 ; Myv. Arch., 
pp. 424, 431 (as T>ikey-uyr}.-,.:Hanesyn.H&n. (Cardiff. MS. 25), pp. 35, 118, and 

S. Diheufyr 341 

Deifer was the original patron of Bodfari (now S. Stephen), in Flint- 
shire, where he had his cell, and lived as a recluse. Teyrnog or Tyrnog 
founded Llandyrnog, and his sister Marchell founded Llanfarchell, 
now Eglwys Wen or Whitchurch, the old parish church of Denbigh, 
the parishes of which adjoin that of Bodfari. No other church is 
known to have been dedicated to him. 

Nearly all that is known of Deifer is to be found in the Legend of 
S. Winefred, by Robert of Shrewsbury, written in the twelfth century. 
He is not mentioned in the Life of the Virgin Martyr in the Cotton 
MS. Claudius A. v., of the twelfth century, by, as it would appear, a 
monk of Basingwerk. The Life by Robert of Shrewsbury is printed 
by the Bollandists, Acta SS., November 3, I, pp. 57-59. A trans- 
lation was made by one J. F., a Jesuit, 1635, and published s.l. It 
was reproduced by Dr. Wm. Fleetwood, Bishop of S. Asaph, London, 
1713, with annotations. 

According to this story, after her miraculous restoration to life, 
S. Winefred was divinely directed to go to the cell of Deifer, eight 
miles distant from Holy well, i.e., to Bodfari, pleasantly situated in 
a gap of the Clwydian range. 

Deifer informed her that God had revealed nothing to him con- 
cerning her, but advised her to tarry there till he had learned what 
the Divine Will was concerning her. Deifer spent the night in prayer, 
and towards morning heard a voice saying to him : " Tell my dear 
child, the Virgin Winefred, that she repair to the village of Henthlant 
(Henllan), where the venerable Saturnus (Sadwrn) will fully instruct 
her as to the place of her abode during life." Deifer next day ac- 
quainted her with his commission, and assured her that his neighbour 
would be able to tell her where she was to reside, and pointed out 
the route to her. 

The Life relates that Deifer caused a fountain to spring out of the 
ground at Bodfari, whose waters cured many persons who bathed in 
it. One posthumous miracle the hagiographer thought worthy of 

Myv. Arch., pp. 423, 431 (as Dier) ; Robert of Shrewsbury's Life of S. Wine- 
fred (as Deiferus). In Hafod MS. 16 the name is difficult to read ; it looks 
like Diueuyr, possibly Diheuyr. The older genealogies give his pedigree simply 
as the son of Hawystl or Awystl Gloff, but the later ones (Myv. Arch., p. 431, 
lolo MSS., pp. 124, 142) make it Arwystl Gloff ab Seithenin Frenin of Maes 
Gwyddno (see i, pp. 175-6). Hanesyn H&n, p. 118 (cf. lolo MSS., p. 124), 
however, gives Hawystl's children as those of " Menwyd m. Ywain danwyn 
m. Einion yrth ap Kuneda Wledig ... a brodur unfam ag wynt yw Gwynn 
ap Nudd a Chyradog vreichvras a Gwaul ap Lyininawg " (Lleenog). Dafydd 
ab Gwilym in one of his poems exclaims " myn Deifr ! " (Works, ed. 1789, p. 
441). But Deifr is also the Welsh form for Deira. There is, or was, a Ffynnon 
Dyfr in the parish of Abergele. 

342 Lives of the British Saints 

special record, as testifying to the Saint's merits. A gang of thieves 
stole a couple of horses out of the cemetery at Bodfari, where the 
Saint was buried. Their owners, on finding their loss, entered the 
church and placed candles upon the altar, which the Saint " suddenly 
lighted in their presence." Whilst they were making their petitions 
the thieves had lost their way in the dark, and found themselves 
twice with the horses back at the churchyard gate. When the owners 
came out of church at daybreak, they found the men at the gate, 
dismounted and stupefied, " holding their horses by their bridles." 

Deifer is mentioned by Nicolas Roscarrock, who calls him an 
eremite, and refers to the Legend of S. Winefred for information 
about him. 

The Saint's Holy Well, Ffynnon Ddier, as it was called, had a 
great reputation in the Middle Ages, and later. Edward Lhuyd, in 
his Itinerary, 1699, after stating that the Gwyl Mabsant, or Wake, 
was observed on S. Stephen's Day, goes on to say of the well : " It 
is a Custom for y e poorest person in the parish to offer Chickens after 
going [with them] nine times round y e well. A Cockrell for a boy, 
& a Pullet for a girl. The child is dipt up to his neck at three of 
y e corners of y e Well. This is to prevent their crying in y e night." 
Bishop Maddox (1736-43), in MS. Z, in the Episcopal Library at S. 
Asaph, says : " About 300 yards from it (the church) there is Diers 
or Deifers Well, to w'ch they go in procession on Acs(ension) Day 
and read the Litany, 10 Com., Ep'le, and Gospel." The well no longer 
exists ; it has been drained to supply the village with water. Much 
the same ritual was observed at S. Tegla's Well at Llandegla, which 
is not far distant from Bodfari. In the Bodfari terrier, dated 1685, 
a three-acre field, called " Cae'r Sanct " (the Saint's Field), is entered 
as part of the glebe. 

The Calendar in Allwydd Paradwys, 1670, and some eighteenth 
century Welsh Almanacks, give the 8th of March as his festival ; 
Rees, 1 on the authority of Cressy, the 7th. 


BEYOND the mere entry of her name in the Welsh Calendars nothing 
seems to be known of this Saint. Her festival is given as February 
4 in a number of Calendars of the fifteenth century and later. In one 

1 Welsh Saints, p. 321. 

S. Dingad ab Brychan 343 

sixteenth century Calendar, that in Llanstephan MS. 117, she is entered 
on the 3rd, no doubt by mistake. The Calendar in Peniarth MS. 
172 is, apparently, our only clue to the Saint's sex, where she is desig- 
nated Sanies. 


THERE were two Saints named Dingad, and they have, as usual, 
been confounded the one with the other. 

Dingad ab Brychan is found in the Cognatio and the late Brychan 
lists. 1 The Domitian version enters him as patron of Llandovery, 
i.e., Llandingat, 2 in Carmarthenshire, and father of Pasgen, whom, 
however, the Vespasian version makes son of Brychan. In Jesus 
College MS. 20 we have Dingad as father of Pasgen and Cyblider, 
but Cyflifer was, according to the two Cognatio versions, son of 

The late authorities state that he was " Lord of Gwent uwch Coed, 
where his Church is " (Dingestow), and " Lord of BrynBuga" (Usk), 
and that he " lies buried in Gwent is Coed." In Peniarth MS. 178 
(sixteenth century) it is said that he " is a Saint in Gwent is Coed." 
See, however, below. 

Hugh Thomas (died 1714), the Breconshire herald, says that he 
was buried "in all likely hood" at Llandovery, and that his feast was 
kept November i. 3 Browne Willis 4 also gives the same day. 

The following among the " Sayings of the Wise " 5 is attributed to 
one of the Dingads 

Hast thou heard the saying of Dingad 
When reproving the son of a wicked father ? 
" The duckling will soon learn to swim." 
(Moch ddysg nofiaw mab hwyad.) 

1 lolo MSS., pp. in, 119, 140 ; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 423. The name Dingad 
occurs under the form Dunocati on the sixth century inscribed stone in Glan 
Usk Park, Breconshire. Two distinct persons of the name are entered in the 
early genealogies in Harleian MS. 3859 (Dinacat), and Jesus MS. 20. It seems 
to mean " a fortress- warrior." In the Life of S. Paul de Leon Dincat is ex- 
plained as Receptaculum Pugnce (Revue Celtique, v, p. 418). Cf 

* The parish-name is Llandingat (for Llanddingad). Llandovery, the town- 
name, would appear to have been originally an alias for it, being derived from 
the little stream there called Dyfrig. 

8 Harleian MS. 4181, fo. 726. > 

* Parochiale Anglicanum, 1733, p. 189. 5 lolo MSS., p. 253. 

344 Lives of the British Saints 


THE early Bonedds in Peniarth MSS. 16, 45 (thirteenth century) 
and 12 (fourteenth century) and Hafod MS. 16 (circa 1400) make 
Dingad ab Nudd Hael, of the race of Maxen Wledig, to be the hus- 
band of Tenoi, daughter of Lleuddun Luyddog, and father of Lleuddad, 
Baglari, Eleri, Tegwy (Tegwyn), and Tyfriog (Tyfrydog). In the 
Welsh Life of his son Lleuddad or Llawddog, in the sixteenth century 
Llanstephan MS. 34, he is represented as king of Bryn Buga, and 
the husband of Tenoi, daughter of Lleuddun, by whom he had 
twelve children, " who every one served God." The Myvyrian 
genealogies l agree with the Bonedds. In the lolo MSS., 2 however, 
the children are entered as those of Nudd, and not of Dingad, and 
to them are added Llidnerth, Gwytherin, and liar. They are also said 
to have been Saints of Llancarfan, and to have afterwards gone with 
Dyfrig to Bardsey. Dingad is also designated " King of Bryn Buga," 
and said to be patron of Llandingad in Gwent. 

It is difficult to say with certainty to which Dingad the church of 
Dingestow (now SS. Dingad and Mary), in Gwent or Monmouthshire, 
is dedicated. It was formerly called in Welsh Llanddingad and 
Llaningad, 3 and occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv 4 as Merthir Dincat, 
Ecclesia Dincat and Landinegat. There is no evidence that either 
Saint suffered martyrdom. Probably this church is dedicated to 
the son of Nudd Hael, as the Cognatio ascribes only Llandovery to 
the son of Brychan. The parish church of New Tredegar, Monmouth- 
shire, formed out of the parishes of Tredegar and Bedwellty in 1900, 
is dedicated to S. Dingad. 

S. DIRDAN, Confessor 

THE name of Dirdan or Durdan, though he is accounted a Saint, 
does not occur as such in the saintly genealogies, but he is mentioned 5 
as " a nobleman of Italy," and husband of S. Banadlwen, daughter oi 
Cynyr of.Caer Gawch, the sister of SS. Non and Gwen and other Saints. 
He was the father of S. Ailfyw or Ailbe, Bishop of Emly. 

1 Mvv. Arch., pp. 423, 427. 2 Pp. 104, 113, 139. 

3 " Eccl. de Landenegath " in the Norwich Taxatio, 1254. 

4 On p. 154 a brook, Nant Dincat, is mentioned in the boundary of Lann 
Guruaet. i.e., Llandeilo'r Van, Breconshire. A Dincat signed as clerical witness 
(p. 203) a grant to the Church of Llandaff during the episcopate of Trichan. 

6 lolo MSS., p. 141; Myv. Arch., p. 418. 

S. Dochdwy 345 

Rees 1 says Durdan was one of the companions of S. Cadfan, and 
having settled in Bardsey, had been considered one of the presiding 
Saints of the island. This statement, however, is not confirmed by 
the ordinary sources of Welsh hagiology. But it has been supposed 
that the old mansion house of Bodwrda, in the parish of Aberdaron, 
in the promontory of Lleyn, takes its name from him, and there is a 
well, Ffynnon Ddurdan, close by. 

Dirdan occurs in an Ode to King Henry VII 2 among the names of 
upwards of a hundred Welsh Saints, to whose guardianship the bard 
commits the King. 


THIS Saint's name occurs in seven lists of the children of Caw in the 
lolo MSS. 3 The name is clearly the Dirmyg or Dirmig of the lists 
in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen* and Peniarth MS. 75 (sixteenth 

He is said to be the patron of a church in Caer Efrog, or York, 
where he was slain by the pagan Saxons. 

Among the " Sayings of the Wise " occurs the following 5 : 

Hast thou heard the saying of Dirynig, 
The wise, distinguished warrior ? 
" God will provide good for the lonely." 
(Digawn Duw da i unig.) 

3. DOCHDWY, Confessor 

IN Peniarth MS. 16, Hafod MS. 16, Hanesyn Hen (Cardiff MS. 
25), and some of the later genealogies, 6 this Saint's name occurs as 
Dochdwy ; in Peniarth MS. 45 and elsewhere 7 it is Dochwy ; whilst 
in the lolo MSS. he is given several times as Docheu, and confounded 

1 Welsh Saints, p. 224. z lolo MSS., p. 314. 

3 Pp. 109, 117, 137, 142-3. 

4 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 107. 

5 lolo MSS., p. 256; cf. Myv. Arch., pp. 129, 843. The proverb is quoted 
as an example of alliteration in Welsh by Giraldus in his Description of Wales, 
i, c. 12. 

6 Myv. Arch., p. 423 ; lolo MSS., p. 112 ; c cf. p. 314, where a S. Dochwyn 
is mentioned, as well as Dochdwy. The Dochwyn of Harleian MS. 4181 (Cambro- 
British SS., p. 269) is Dochdwy. 7 lolo MSS., p. 134. 

346 Lives of the British Saints 

with Docheu = Cyngar. 1 He was one of the Saints who came over 
with Cadfan from Brittany. 

He is mentioned in the following passages in the late lolo MS. 
documents. He was one of " the Saints and learned men that were, 
with Cadfan, brought to this island by Garmon. They were Saints 
at Llantwit and Llancarfan ; and they all went with Cadfan as Saints 
to Bardsey, except Docheu, whom Teilo appointed Bishop of Llandaff 
in his own stead." 2 "He came with Cadfan to this island, was in 
Bardsey, and afterwards was a Bishop in the Church of Teilo in Llan- 
daff whilst Teilo was in Bardsey, with the Saints there, presiding 
over the Cor, after the death of Cadfan." 3 He and others were 
" natives of Llydaw, and kinsmen of Cadfan, with whom they came 
to Gwynedd to oppose the unbelievers." 4 

The statement that he succeeded Teilo as Bishop of Llandaff is 
due to a confusion with Oudoceus, in Welsh Euddogwy, who is the 
patron of Llandogo, on the Wye. 

The lolo MSS. are equally confused as to whom he came over here 
with. They mention, besides Cadfan, Dyfan, Ffagan, and Garmon. 5 

No churches are known to be dedicated to him. He is not the 
patron of the two churches of Llandochau or Llandough in Glamorgan- 
shire, as Rees supposed. 6 These are dedicated to Docheu = Cyngar. 

His festival does not occur in any of the Welsh Calendars. Nicolas 
Roscarrock gives Dagdeus on August 18, by whom Dochdwy may 
be intended. 


S. DOEWAN, Martyr 

THIS Saint's name occurs in the genealogies as Doewan, Dogwan, 
and Dogfan, and elsewhere also as Doewon, Doefon, Dwywan, 
Dwywon. In the later genealogies he is given as a son of Brychan 
Brycheiniog, 7 but his name does not occur in either of the Cognatio 
versions. " He was slain by the pagan Saxons at Merthyr Dogwan, 

1 lolo MSS., p. 151 ; cf. pp. 114, 116. 

2 P. 103. a P. 112. 

4 P. 134. 5 Pp. 101, 220; cf. Leland, Itin. iv, 69. 

" Welsh Saints, pp. 220, 337. 

7 lolo MSS., pp. in, 119, 140; Myv. Arch., pp. 419, 423. In the Calendars 
his name is always given as Doewan. He is not to be confounded, as is some- 
times done, with Dyfan, of Lucius fame. 


S. Doged 347 


in Dyfed, where his church is," but its situation is not known, nor 
is it easy to understand how the Saxons had got into South-west Wales 
at that time. 

He is the patron of Llanrhaiadr ym Mochnant, Denbighshire, 
which adjoins Llangynog, dedicated to his half-brother, Cynog, 
whose mother Banadlined or Banhadlwedd was probably a native of 
Llanrhaiadr. Local tradition points out a place caUed Buarth yr 
Hendre, in the parish, as the site of an old church, the site and 
graveyard of which are still visible. From the fact of its being 
in Cwm Doefon, and Ffynnon Ddoefon being in the same dell, it has 
been reasonably conjectured to have been the site of the original 
oratory founded by Doewan. 1 The parish church name simply 
means " The Church near the waterfall in Mochnant " (the commote). 

His festival is entered against July 13 in a good number of Calendars 
of the fifteenth century and later. The Prymer of 1546 gives the i2th, 
no doubt in mistake. A great fair was held at Llanrhaiadr on his 
day (Old Style), and is stiU held on the 23rd and 24th. 

The cloud-berries (Rubus Chamcemorus) , growing on the more alpine 
parts of the Berwyn, in this parish, are popularly called Mwyar 
Doewan, his berries. They are also known as Mwyar Berwyn. They 
are mentioned in Camden's Britannia among the " rare plants growing 
in Wales," " Chamaemorus Cambro-britannica sive Lancastrense 
Vaccinium nubis." 2 There is a tradition that whoever brought a 
quart of them ripe to the parson on the morning of the day of the 
Saint's festival, had his ecclesiastical payments remitted for the 
year. 3 

S. DOGED, King, Martyr 

ACCORDING to one account, Doged Frenin (the King) was son of 
Cedig ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig, 4 but according to another the 
son of Ceredig. 5 If, as most probably, the son of Cedig, he was the 
brother of S. Afan Buellt, whose mother was S. Tegfedd or Tegwedd, 
the daughter of Tegid Foel, Lord of Penllyn.^ 

Doged Frenin is mentioned in the Arthurian romance of Culhwch 

1 Thomas, Hist, of the Diocese of S. Asaph, ist ed., p. 523. " Llan ddoywan " 
occurs in Jesus College. MS. 15, p. 125. 
* Ed. Gibson, 1722, coll. 835-6. 
3 Montgomeryshire Collections, 1872, p. 304. 
Myv. Arch., p. 424. 5 lolo MSS., p. 125. 

348 Lives of the British Saints 

and, Olwen. 1 When Goleuddydd, daughter of Amlavvdd Wledig, 
lay a-dying after giving birth to Culhwch, she said to her husband 
Gilydd, son of Celyddon Wledig, " Of this sickness I shall die, and 
thou wilt take another wife. I charge thee that thou take not a 
wife until thou see a double briar upon my grave." This he promised 

After 33ven years " the king one day went to hunt, and he rode to 
the place of burial to see the grave, and to know if it were time that 
he should take a wife ; and the king saw the briar. And when he 
saw it, the king took counsel where he should find a wife. Said one 
of his counsellors, ' I know a wife that will suit thee well, the wife of 
Doged Frenin.' And they resolved to go to seek her ; and they 
slew the king, and brought away his wife and one daughter that she 
had along with her. And they conquered the king's lands." 

We are not told what district he ruled over, but the commote of 
Uwch Dulas, in West Denbighshire, in which Llanddoget, the only 
church dedicated to him, is situated, may have been it, or have formed 
part of it, and the church was probably erected as a martyrium. At 
any rate, the copies of a poem written in his honour by lefan Llwyd 
Brydydd (fifteenth century), preserved in Peniarth MS. 225 and 
Jesus College MS. 140, have the following as heading : " An Ode to 
S. Doged Frenin, King and Martyr, as I saw written in the White 
Book of Rhydderch " z (Peniarth MSS. 4 and 5, fourteenth century). 

In this poem the bard exhorts all sick folk to repair to Doged Frenin 
and his holy well (Ffynnon Ddoged). He was going to him to have 
his eye cured. " His horse had thrown him on to a thorn-brake, 
causing his eye to come out on his cheek, and no surgeon was able to 
relieve him, but God and the Saint made him perfectly whole, though 
so bruised and wounded." He makes Doged to have been son 
of Cedig and grandson of Ceredig. There was a statue of the Saint 
in Llanddoget Church, to which much people resorted. 

Edward Lhuyd, in his Itinerary, 1699, says under Llanddoget 
" According to tradition Lh. Dhoeg 3 from Doeg ye 3d son of Mael- 
gwn Gwynedh. Their Feast Dygwyl Dhoget 9 days before May and 
9 days before August." His festival does not occur in any of the 
Calendars. Another account states that the two wakes were ob- 
served, the first on the 24th day before May i, to S. Doged, or accord- 

1 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 100-1. 

* The statement about the White Book is inaccurate ; the poem, composed 
in the second half of the fifteenth century, is not there. We are indebted to 
Mr. Richard Ellis, M.A., for a photograph of the Jesus MS. copy. 

3 In Llanrwst Church is a brass (1719), with a Latin inscription, to a rector 
of Llanddoget, wherein he is mentioned as " Doegensis." 

S. Dogfael 349 

ing to others, to the above Doeg ; and the other, 24 days before 
August i, to S. Mary Magdalene. That there may have been some 
connexion between the two claimants to the original foundation 
seems to be implied by one of the earliest records (1256) in the Red 
Book of S. Asaph, where one Cedig is represented as having struck 
with a drinking-horn a son of King Maelgwn Gwynedd, and as flying 
for sanctuary to Kentigern at Llanelwy, whither he is also pursued 
by Maelgwn. 1 

"yy L* 
^L.t/L Jn i-^y J | yfo v> f f#A 

S. DOGFAEL or DOGWEL, Confessor 

THIS Saint was son of Ithel ab Ceredig ab Cunedda Wledig. 2 His 
name also occurs as Dochfael, 3 and his father, in the later genealogies, 
is given as Ithel Hael ab Cedig ab Ceredig. The late accounts make 
him a Saint or monk of Llancarfan. 

His life in Wales seems to have been spent almost entirely in Pem- 
brokeshire, for all the churches except one dedicated to him are situated 
in that county. They are Llandydoch 4 (Llandudoch) or S. Dogmael's 
(S. Dogmell's), near Cardigan ; S. Dogwell's, 5 near Fishguard ; Mynach- 
log Ddu, and Meline. Capel Degwel, situated in Cwm Degwel, in 
the parish of S. Dogmael's, was a " capella olim peregrinationis causa 
erecta " on the festival day. 6 Llanddogwel, or Capel Dygwel, in 
Anglesey, was formerly a separate parish, but is now attached to ' 
Llanfechell, 7 and its chapel has entirely disappeared. Near its site 
are Llanddygwel Groes and Hir. 

1 Thomas, Hist, of Diocese of S. Asaph, ist ed., p. 546. The Festival of 
S. Mary Magdalene, however, is July 22, which agrees better with Lhuyd's 

date. C, .J J 

2 Peniarth MSS. 16 and 12 ; Progenies Keredic in Cott. Vesp. A. xiv ; Hafod 
MS. 16 ; Cambro-British Saints, p. 265 ; Myv. Arch., p. 423 ; loio MSS., pp. 
107, no, 124. The earliest occurring form of the name is Docmail (Harleian 
MS. 3859). He is not to be confounded with Dogfael, the eighth son of Cunedda, 
who, on the partition of Wales, was granted the principality (called after him) 
of Dogfeiling or Dogfeilyn, represented later by the cantred of Dyffryn Clwyd. 

3 Peniarth MS. 45 ; Myv. Arch., p. 423. 

4 Dogfael's name assumes in Llan Dydoch a Goidelic form, for Dog-facl 
would have to become in Irish Doch-mhdl, which, cut down to Doch t with the 
honorific prefix to, has yielded Ty-doch (Sir J. Rhys, Celtic Folklore, 'p. 163). 

5 Fentpn, Pembrokeshire, ed. 1903, p. 186, says the Welsh name of this 
parish was Llan Ty Dewi. It would appear that it is also the Hunlle Dewi 
of the old parish-lists. * Owen, Pembrokeshire, i, p. 509. 

7 " Capell' de Llan Dogwell " is entered under both LlanfecheJl and Llan- 
rhuddlad in theValor of 1 535 (iv, p. 429). There are remains of the cemetery wall. 


_ V- 

* I ~ ' * ' 

A-uV , / 

' * ' ^ 

3 5 Lives of the British Saints 

In S. Dogmael's or Dogmell's we have the " fossil " form of the 
modern Dogfael, which becomes colloquially Dogwael or Dogwel. 
The abbey here belonged to the Tironian Order of Reformed Bene- 

From the legend of S. Tydecho as versified by Dafydd Llwyd ab 
Llywelyn ab Gruffydd, in the fifteenth century, it would appear that 
SS. Tydecho and Tegfan were for some time with Dogfael at Llandu- 

October 31 as the festival of S. Dogfael occurs in a good many of 
the Welsh Calendars. 1 Rees, 2 on the authority of Cressy, gives 
Dogfael or Tegwel (which latter cannot be identified with our Saint's 
name) on June 14 ; but Cressy is worthless as an authority. 

Though so little is known of Dogfael, he must have been a person 
of considerable importance in his day. 

According to F. Peckham there was formerly a chapel dedicated 
to him near Liskeard, in Cornwall. 

But he did not confine himself, apparently, to Britain. He passed 
into Armorica. He is the reputed patron of S. Domineuc in Ille et 
Vilaine, where he has replaced Domnec. He has chapels at Rospez 
'(Cotes du Nord) and Pommerit-Jaudy in the same department. 
Albert le Grand gives us a series of Bishops of Lexovia, an apocryphal 
see that preceded Treguier, and was supposed to have been founded 
by Drennalus, disciple of Joseph of Arimathea. He even gives the 
date of the arrival of this Drennalus as taking place in 72, and that 
of his death 92. The fifty-eighth Bishop of this see, that did not exist 
except in Cloudland, is set down as S. Docmael, consecrated in 482, 
who died in 498. 

The entire series is pure invention. There was no see at Treguier 
till it was founded by Nominoe in 846, but there was an abbey there 
over which S. Tudwal presided from the middle of the sixth century 
to his death. Before him there was nothing at all. 

Albert le Grand, or whoever invented the series of Bishops of Lexovia, 
derived Dogmael from a disciple of that name who was with S. 
Columbanus at the real Lexovia, Luxeuil, if we may trust the local 
legends there. Miss M. Stokes, in her Six Months in the Apennines, 
mentions a charter seen at Bobbio by Ughelli, of S. Columbanus, in 
599, witnessed by Dogfael and other Celtic monks, Eogain, Cummian, 
Eunan, etc. 

1 Browne Willis, Bangor, 1721, p. 280, gives October 31 for the Anglesey 
Church, but Nicolas Owen, Hist, of Anglesey, 1775, p. 59, November 30. 

2 Welsh Saints, pp. 211, 318. Tegwel, on June 14, occurs in Welsh Almanacks 
of the eighteenth century. There is a Cwm Tecwel in Ffestiniog. 

S. Dominica 351 

There were traditions in the Diocese of Treguier of a Dogfael 
or Dogmael, who had a cult there. Nothing certain was known 
ol him, and when the fabricators of the list of the bishops of Lexovia 
sought for names, they appropriated this and inserted it, partly be- 
cause a Dogfael had been at the real Lexovia, and partly because he 
was culted in Treguier. 

The fable of his having been a bishop has had its effect, and a 
seventeenth century statue of S. Dogfael at Rospez represents him 
mitred and with crozier. 

The Dogfael who was with S. Columbanus cannot have been the 
Dogfael son of Ithel ab Ceredig, for he lived a century later. Not 
far from Annegrai, at Ste. Marie-en-Chanois, is the cave of S. Colum- 
banus, and near it the well he caused to spring up to satisfy the thirst 
of his visitor S. Dogfael. It is also related that when Columbanus 
was driven away by Theodoric, Dogfael accompanied him, and on 
their entering Besangon together, the chains fell off the arms and 
legs of the prisoners. 

In Brittany Dogfael is invoked to help children to walk. His 
name is popularly corrupted to Toel, but at Rospez he is known as 
Saint Dogmeel. 



IN the Myvyrian Archaiology and lolo MSS. 1 occur the three forms 
Dolgan, Dolgar and Dolgain, which are given as the names of a son 
and a daughter or daughters of Gildas. Dolgan and his brothers 
are stated in the lolo MSS. to have been " Saints " of Llantwit and 
Llancarfan, and his church to be in Gwynedd. The two other forms 
may be taken to represent one and the same person. Nothing is 
known of these Saints, and they are in all probability apocryphal. 

S. DOMINICA, Virgin, Martyr 

INDRACT, son of an Irish Prince, with his sister Dominica, and 
1 Myv. Arch., pp. 424, 426; lolo MSS., pp. 117, 140. 

352 Lives of the British Saints 

seven others, of noble birth, visited Britain, intending eventually 
to proceed on a pilgrimage to Rome. 1 

They came to the Tamar and settled there for a while. Indract 
founded Landrake, but he had also a chapel and holy well near the 
river edge. Of the former a wall remains, and the well is in perfect 

Whilst staying there an unpleasantness arose, which shall be men- 
tioned when we come to speak of S. Indract, and the party left and 
visited Rome. On their return journey they halted at Shapwith, 
near Glastonbury, where they were murdered by an official of the 
Saxon king. 

King Ina in 710 refounded Glastonbury, and, at a later date, a 
successor removed to it the relics of the Saints. 

It is by no means certain that Dominica accompanied her brother 
to Rome, and was killed at Shapwith. 

The church of S. Dominick, in Cornwall, is dedicated to her, and 
marks the site of her religious foundation. It is probable that she 
there had a congregation of pious women under her. The church 
was re-dedicated on May 18, 1263, by Bishop Bronescombe, to Sancta 
Dominica. The same dedication is given in Bytton's Register, 1310, 
and in that of Bishop Stapeldon. 

The festival of SS. Dominica and Indract is on May 8. Whytford, 
on this day, says : " The feest of Saynt Indrake a kynge of Yrelond 
y* forsoke all his royalty and went to rome w* his syster saynt Dominyke 
w th dyuerse other y* al togyder lyved a private lyf full of sctite 
(sanctite) and myracles and at the last martyred for Chrystes fayth." 

The feast at S. Dominick is on the first Thursday after May 12. 
Add eleven days to May 8 and we have May 19, near about when 
the Feast is held. As usual the people insist on Old Style reckon- 

May 8 is the day given in the Salisbury Martyrology, and also in 
the Altemps Martyrology of the thirteenth century, and a Norwich 
Martyrology of the fifteenth. Nicolas Roscarrock, also. 

The date of the death of S. Dominica cannot be fixed with any 
confidence. Colgan considered it must have taken place in 678, but, 
as shall be shown under S. Indract, the true date is 854. 

In art S. Dominica should be represented habited as an Irish nun, 
and with a crown at her feet. 

Her name and that of her brother are Irish. Hers is composed 
in the same manner as was Domnach, a church, and Domnall and 
Domnan, names for men. 

1 For authorities see further on, under S. INDRACT. 

S. Domnoc 353 

S. DOMNECH, Confessor 

DOMNECH was a disciple of S. Machu or Malo, probably one who 
had accompanied him from Britain. 

He occupied a cell on the Limon, a confluent of the Ranee. One 
day the chieftain of that portion of Domnonia which comprised the 
district round Aleth, passing that way, found him, and asked him what 
possessions he had. Domnech replied that he had none save his 
cell. Meliau, the chieftain, said to him, " Take two untamed oxen, 
yoke them, and as much land as you can enclose with a furrow be- 
tween the rising and the setting of the sun shall be yours." 1 

One day when Machu was on his wanderings, he found a poor 
swineherd hiding in a ditch. He asked him why he skulked there, 
and the man replied that he had kept the swine of the hermit Dom- 
nech, and that he had lost one of them, and fearing how he would be 
treated by Domnech, he had been in hiding for three days. 

Machu bade him get up and search, and with the aid of Machu 
he found the pig, a sow that had littered eight piglings. 

Then Machu led the poor serf to his master, and Domnech was re- 
joiced to recover all his pigs, together with the brood. Machu stayed 
the night with him, and then Domnech agreed to surrender all the 
territory granted him by Meliau, that it might become part of the 
patrimony of Machu's great monastery at Aleth. 2 

The site of the cell of Domnech is now S. Domneuc. It is in the 
commune of Tintinac in Ille et Vilaine. It now claims S. Dogfael as 
its patron. In the Life of S. Machu it is called Landonnec. 

S. DOMNOC or MODOMNOC, Abbot, Confessor 

DOMNOC, or, with the common Irish prefix of affectionate regard, 
Modomnoc, was a disciple of S. David. Almost all that we know of 
him is from the very late Life of this latter Saint. Such notices as 
still exist relative to him have been collected by Colgan in his Ada 
SS. Hibern. for February 13. 

Domnoc was son of Saran, son of Tighernach, descended from 
Niall of the Nine Hostages. His grandfather was, in fact, brother of 
Murtagh mac Erca, who was king of Ireland 513-533. Tighernach's 
half-brother was grandfather of S. Columba of Hy. 

1 Vita Sti. Maclovii,ed. Dorn Plaine, Bulletin de la Soc. Arch, d'llle et Vilaine, 
1883, pp. 197-8. * Ibid., pp. 198-9- 


354 Lives of the British Saints 

How it was that Domnoc was committed to S. David to be edu- 
cated we do not know. Giraldus Cambrensis, in his Life of that Saint, 
has given his name as Mandabnaucus. 

Domnoc was engaged one day in the oversight of the labourers 
employed on the road " on the steep near the confines of the city " 
one of the ways of descent into the Alun Valley when he re- 
proached a workman who was lazy. The man had a tool in his hand, 
and in a fury menaced Domnoc with it. Happily, S. David was 
not far off, and the fellow, thinking better of it, did not strike. 1 After 
Domnoc had been a good many years with S. David, he resolved on 
returning to Ireland. " Entering the ship, a large swarm of bees 
followed him, and settled on the prow of the vessel where he sat." 
But, not liking to appear to steal the bees, he returned to S. David, 
whereupon the swarm again followed him. David bade him go and 
take the bees with him, and this time again the swarm went after 
him to the boat, and he carried it over with him to Ireland. 2 
Giraldus says that from that time bees did not thrive in Mynyw, 
and became extinct there. 3 They certainly flourish there at the 
present day. 

Modomnoc settled at Lan Beachaire, " the Church of the Bee- 
Keeper," now Bremore, near Balbuggan, in the county of Dublin. 
There are ruins of an early church there in a cemetery surrounded 
by a hawthorn fence. 

But his principal- church was Tiprad-Fachna, or Tibrach, in the 
county of Kilkenny, on the Suire. It is in the barony of Iverk, 
and ancient ecclesiastical ruins remain on the spot, which is com- 
manded by a circular camp. 

Whether Domnoc actually carried over bees, or whether under the 
figure of bees a swarm of busy monks is signified, we cannot tell. 

Domnoc or Modomnoc is commemorated on February 13, in the 
Felire of Oengus, the Calendar of Cashel, the Martyrology of Tallaght, 
those of Donegal and O'Gorman, and the Drummond Calendar. 

S. DONA, Confessor 
DONA or Dwna was the son of Selyf ab Cynan Garwyn ab Brochwel 

1 Vita S. David in Cambo-British Saints, p. 133. Domnoc's name occurs in 
the Vita in Nero E. i, as Modunnauc. 

2 Ibid., p. 134. Solinus, B.C. 80, says that in his day bees were unknown 
in Ireland, and states that bees would even desert a hive if Irish earth were 
brought near it. 

3 Girald. Camb., Opera, ed. Brewer, 1863, iii, pp. 396-7. 

S. Dona 355 

Ysgythrog. 1 He is the patron of Llanddona in Anglesey. In the 
genealogies he is said to be a Saint in Crafgoed, Cathgoed, or Garth- 
goed, in Anglesey, the first form of which is still preserved in Mynydd 
y Crafgoed, within the parish, where is also a hill called Bryn Dona. 
His father, otherwise known as Selyf Sarffgadau (the Serpent of 
Battles), was king of Powys, who fell in 613 at the Battle of Chester. 

According to the lolo MSS. Dona was a Saint of Bangor Deiniol, 
whence he moved into Anglesey, and erected his cell on the sea-shore. 
Above his church, in the rock, is his chair, Cadair Dona. 

His festival does not occur in any of the Calendars, 2 but the Llan- 
ddona wake, according to Nicolas Owen and Angharad Llwyd, 3 fell 
on All Saints' Day. 

About a mile from the town of Knighton, in Radnorshire, is Craig 
Dona. Hither the young people of Knighton were wont formerly 
to resort on Sunday evenings to drink the water of the spring there, 
sweetened with sugar. The chasm in the rock is said to have been 
Dona's bed 4 ; but probably this was a different person. 

The sons of Selyf are mentioned in the Life of S. Beuno. They 
caused great offence to the Saint by demanding of him food, when 
they were hunting in his neighbourhood at Gwyddelwern, and by 
remarks made by them on the meat when he did kill a bullock for 
them. In a paroxysm of rage, he cursed them that they should neither 
have an heir to succeed in the principality of Powys, nor find admittance 
into Heaven. 5 If Dona and Mael Myngan were the sons, and we 
know of none others, then the curse failed in the case of the latter, 
who left direct issue that occupied the throne of Powys for many 
generations, and we may conclude that his imprecation was as in- 
effectual against Dona, who is numbered among the Saints. 

It is possible that he may have been in Brittany, and may be the 
Saint who is traditionally said to have laboured in the district be- 
tween S. Brieuc and Quintin, in Cotes du Nord. He is thought to 
have lived at Plou Fragan ; but nothing is known of him there save 
through vague tradition. Saint Donan is the parish that adjoins, 

1 Peniarth MSS. 45 (thirteenth century), 75 and 177 (sixteenth century) ; 
Hafod MS. 16 (circa 1400) ; Hanesyn Hen (Cardiff MS. 25), pp. 38, 121 ; 
Cambro-British Saints, p. 270; Myv. Arch., p. 423; lolo MSS., pp. 102, 130. 
The name occurs in the Book of Llan Ddv as Dunna. Lewis Morris mistook 
the Saint's sex, calling him Dona Santes (Celtic Remains, p. 140). 

* Hist, of Anglesey, 1775, p. 58. 3 Hist, of Anglesey, 1833, P- 222 - 

4 Arch. Camb., 1858, p. 4^0. 

5 Cambro-British Saints, pp. 15-6; Llyvyr Agkyr Llandewivrevi, Oxford, 
1894, p. 121. In the Life the sons of Selyf are called nephews, not grandsons, of 
Cvnan ; but this is a mistake. 

3 5 6 Lives of the British Saints 

Plou Fragan. His great uncle, Tyssilio or Suliau, certainly had found- 
ations in this portion of Domnonia, and it is not at all improbable 
that after the death of Tyssilio, some of his kinsmen came over to 
take the supervision there of his houses. 

Tresvaux, in his additions to Lobineau, gives as his day September 
24, and is followed by Garaby. Kerviler gives the same day, but 
also April 14. 

He is patron as well of Esquibion near Pont Croix in Finistere, 
but it may be doubted if this is the same Saint. 

Traditionally, Donan is said to have been a disciple of S. Brioc, 
but there is no reason for this except the fact that Saint Donan is 
near S. Brieuc. Tresvaux conjectures that Donan may have been 
an Irish Saint, perhaps the nephew of S. Senan. And the Pont 
Croix district is distinctly one colonized from Ireland. 

S. Donan is represented at the church bearing his name, near 
S. Brieuc, in rochet and cassock, preaching. The statue is of the 
eighteenth century. 

SS. DREDENAU, Princes, Martyrs 

BESIDE the Blavet, in the parish of S. Geran (Geraint) in Morbihan 
is a flamboyant chapel, erected in honour of two princes, brothers* 
who, according to tradition, were slain by an ambitious uncle, who 
flung their bodies into a marsh, where they were guarded by a white 
sow, till devout people came and buried them. 

No record exists for determining who they were ; locally they are 
called Les Saints Dredenau. 

It is possible, we cannot say more, that these princes were the sons 
of Modred, who were murdered in or about 538, by Constantine of 
Cornwall, and that Gildas may have set up this chapel as a martyrinm 
in their honour, as Gildas extended his influence up the Blavet, from 
Castennec, and indeed has a chapel in a neighbouring parish. 

Gildas speaks in his Increpatio of the murder by Constantine : 
" In this year, after a dreadful form of oath, by which he bound 
himself that he would use no deceit against his subjects, making 
his oath first to God, and secondly to the choirs of saints and those 
who follow them, in reliance upon the mother (the Church), he 
nevertheless, in the garb of a holy abbot, cruelly tore the tender 
sides of two royal children, while in the bosoms of two revered. 

SS. Dredenau 357 

mothers viz., the Church and the mother after the flesh 
together with their two guardians. And their arms stretched forth 
in no way to armour, which no man was in the habit of using more 
bravely than they at this time, but towards God and His altar, will 
hang in the Day of Judgment at Thy gates, O Christ, as revered 
trophies of their patience and faith. He did this among the holy 
altars, as I said, with accursed sword and spear instead of teeth, 
so that the cloaks, red as if with clotted blood, touched the place of 
the heavenly sacrifice." 1 

What Gildas means by " this year " is not intelligible. He can 
hardly mean the year in which he wrote, which was just before 540, 
when his book was published. The " General Denunciation," which 
precedes the Increpatib, contains no date. But the date of the 
butchery must have been somewhere about 538. 

Geoffrey of Monmouth gives a detailed account of the slaughter, 
but he is so untrustworthy that no reliance can be placed on his 
narrative. He says : " Constantine . . . took the two sons of 
Modred ; and one of them, who had fled to the Church of S. Am- 
phibalus in Winchester, he murdered before the altar. The other 
had hidden himself in a convent of friars (in quorundam fratrum 
Coenobio absconditum) in London, but at last was found by him, 
brought before the altar, and there put to death." 2 That Constan- 
tine could have gone to London and there executed the crime is, of 
course, absurd. 

All we can gather from Gildas is that Constantine of Cornwall did 
murder the princes in a church near the altar, he having disguised 
himself in monastic habit to obtain access to them. 

Geraint, if any trust can be placed in the Welsh pedigrees, was 
the ancestor alike of Constantine and of Gildas, and the murdered 
kinsmen of both were, according to Geoffrey, mixed up in the revolt 
of Modred against Constantine. " Upon Constantine's advance- 
ment to the throne, the Saxons, with the two sons of Modred, made 
insurrection against him, though without success ; for after many 
battles they fled, one to London, the other to Winchester, and pos- 
sessed themselves of those places." 3 

If the martyred princes be the same as those commemorated as 
the Dredenau or Dredenaux at S. Geran, then the storj' has there 
been localised, for the marsh is shown where the bodies were 

That Gildas, who felt strongly the murder of the princes, may 

1 Gildas, ed. Prof. Hugh Williams, p. 68. 

2 Hist. Rcgum, xi, c. 4. 3 Ibid., xi, c. 3. 

3 5 8 Lives of the British Saints 

have raised a chapel in commemoration of them on what we con- 
jecture to have been the royal dominium of the British princes in 
Armorica is conceivable enough ; and that local tradition should 
have supposed the slaughter to have taken place on the spot, and not 
in Britain, is intelligible as well. 

Statues in their Chapel c.t S. Geran. 

In the chapel of the SS. Dredenau are their statues rudely executed ; 
and in the marsh is their Holy Well, also with statues of the brothers 
carved in granite upon it, and in excellent preservation. In the 
chapel each statue represents the saint as a boy ; Gildas speaks of 
those murdered by Constantine as " royal children." They have 
bloody gashes on their heads, and by the side of each is a bell. On 
the books they hold is the inscription in Latin and in French : 
" Ce Saint a combatu jusque a la mort pour la loi de Dieu et n'a pas 
craint les menaces des infideles parceque sa foi etait fondee sur la 

The Pardon at this chapel is on the fourth Sunday after Easter,. 

S. Dubricius 

The pedigree of the princes would be this : 

Cystennin Fendigaid 
or Gorneu 


S. Er 
S. Ge 


Uthyr B 
=Eigr (Ig( 



d. 537 

Anne =L 

d. 53 

Cador or Cado 




K. Domnonia, 
converted 589 

wrote 540, 
d. 570 

Two prin 

Llew. K. of 

Constantine, dr. 547. 

S. DUBRICIUS (DYFRIG), Bishop, Confessor 

THE authorities for the Life of S. Dubricius are : 

1. A Life in the Book of Llan Ddv. This book was compiled about 
1150. The Vita is in the edition of Evans and Rhys, 1893, pp. 78-86. 
A somewhat imperfect transcript of the Vita, of the early thirteenth 
century, is in Cotton MS. Vesp. A. xiv. The variations are given in 
the Appendix to Evans and Rhys, pp. 359-60. 

2. An account of him in Geoffrey of Monmouth's fabulous 
Historia Regtim Britannia, published 1147 ; lib. viii, c. 12 ; ix, cc. 
i, 4, 12, 13, 15. 

Geoffrey converted Dubricius into an archbishop of Caerleon, and 
gave him a prominent position and leading part in the affairs of 
Britain, for which there was no justification. His Dubricius is wholly 

3. A Life by Benedict of Gloucester, written some time after 1120, 
but after he had seen the first edition of Geoffrey's History. 
He had before him the Vita i ma as contained in the Book of Llan 
Ddv, and he pieced into it the romance of Geoffrey where it 
concerned Dubricius. This, too, occurs in Cotton MS. Ve&p. A. xiv. 

It begins : " Igitur quidam regulus Ertici regionis Pepiau vocatus, 
Britannice vero Clavorauc cognominatus, quod Latine reumaticus 
sive spumosus interpretatur." The Vita i ma has : " Quidam rex 
fuit Ercychi regionis Pepiau nomine Clavorauc vocatus Britannice 
Latine vero spumosus." 

360 Lives of the British Saints 

It is printed in Wharton's Anglia Sacra, ii, pp. 654-61, and con- 
sists of eleven chapters, i and 2 are from Vita i ma . 3 relates the 
arrival of SS. Germanus and Lupus in Britain, from Geoffrey of Mon- 
mouth. 4 records the elevation of Dubricius to be Archbishop of 
Caerleon by Aurelius Ambrosius. 5 narrates the poisoning of Aurelius 
and the raising of Arthur to the throne through the influence of 
Dubricius, all from Geoffrey. 6. Dubricius visits S. Illtyd and con- 
secrates S. Samson. This is taken from Vita i. ma and the Life of 
S. Samson. 7. Cure of the daughter of Guidgentivai, from Vita 
~L ma . 8. The deeds of King Arthur, from Geoffrey. 9. Dubricius 
retires to the eremitical life and is succeeded in the archbishopric by 
S. David, taken from Geoffrey. 10. The embassy of Lucius Caesar 
to Britain, from Geoffrey; and n. The death of Dubricius in Enlli, 
in the year 612, from the Vita i ma . Thus this Life is a mere patch- 
work of no value. 

4. A condensation of the Life by Benedict of Gloucester was made 
by John of Tynemouth. The original MS. is in Cotton MS. Tiberius, 
E. i. It was printed in Capgrave's Nova Legenda Anglice, ed. Horst- 
mann, pp. 267-71. 

5. As we have seen, 2, 3, and 4 are worthless. It is other with the 
charters or grants made to Dubricius and his disciples found in the 
Book of Llan Ddv. These grants do not come to us in their original 
form ; they were manipulated by the redactor of the Book of Llan 
Ddv in the twelfth century. 

Originally, the gifts made to Dubricius and his disciples were re- 
corded on the margins of a Book of the Gospels, in the same manner 
as the entries in the Book of S. Chad, so-called, but a Book of the 
Four Gospels that belonged originally to the Church of Llandaff. ! 
These recorded the names of the grantor and grantee, and those of 
the clerical and lay witnesses to the transfer little more. 

When the compiler of the Book of Llan Ddv took these in hand, he 
rilled them out, and gave them an academic form. In some instances 
he added the traditional circumstances which caused the grantor 
to make the gift ; and in almost all cases he added the boundaries 
from his own knowledge. He did more, he coloured the account to 
accommodate it to certain claims advanced by the Church of Llan- 
daff to possession of all the lands that had been given to Dubricius 
and to his disciples. An example may be taken from the earliest 
grant in the book, that by Erb, king of Gwent and Erging, to Du- 
bricius, of the land of Cilhal, supposed to be Pencoyd, in Hereford- 
shire. It records how that Erb made over land, named Cilhal, from 
his own heritage, " Dubritio [archiepiscopo archimonasterii Landaviae 

S. Dubricius 361 

et suis successoribus]." Here all within brackets is an addition by 
the compiler. Dubricius was not archbishop, and Llandaff had not 
been founded when Erb was king. " Rex praedictus misit manum 
super quatuor Evangelia, tenente beato Dubricio, cum praedicta 
tellure. [Finis illius a Palude Magno usque ad ArganheU. Benedicens 
posteris suis qui servaverint istam donationem ; qui autem vio- 
laverint, et ab ecclesia Landaviae separaverint, maledicentur, et in 
ignem aeternum mittentur.] De clericis testes sunt [archiejpiscopus 
Dubricius, Elhearn, ludner, Guordocui, Guernabui. De laicis vero 
rex Erb, Pepiau, Gurtauan, Mabon, Condiuill." x So, again, with 
another grant : " Sciendum est nobis quod Peipiau rex filius Erb 
largitus est Mainaur Garth Benni usque ad paludem nigrum inter 
silvam et campum et aquam et jaculum Cons tan tini regis socri sui 
trans Guy amnem Deo et Dubricio [archiejpiscopo [sedis Landaviae] 
et lunapeio consobrino suo . . . sine ullo sensu terreno et prin- 
cipatu parvo et modico nisi Deo et Sancto Dubricio [servientibus 
ecclesiae Landaviae] in perpetuo . . . ut domus orationis et peni- 
tentiae . . . et in testimonio relictis ibi tribus discipulis suis ecclesiam 
illam consecravit." 2 The title of archbishop may have stood in 
the original grant, but this is most improbable, and, if it did, it 
had a totally different significance from that attributed to it later. 
All reference to Llandaff is a deliberate insertion of a late period. 

Another instance of the handiwork of the compiler may be adduced. 
In the grant made by Britcon of Lann Bocha to S. Dubricius it is 
stated that Britcon and Iliuc made over " Lannmocha pro animabus 
suis . . . Deo et Sancto Petro Apostolo et archiepiscopo Dubricio 
archimonasterii Landaviae . . . verbo et consensu Mourici regis." 3 
Now Lann-mocha or Lann-bocha is the Church of S. Machu or Malo, 
ow S. Maughan's. 4 Machu was son of Madrun, daughter of Vorti- 
mer or Gwrthefyr, who died in 457, and Machu cannot have founded 
this church till the middle of the sixth century. He was born about 
527. Consequently it is hardly credible that in the time of Meurig 
and Dubricius there can have been a church bearing Machu's name. 

Moreover, no churches among the British were dedicated to S. 
Peter or any Apostle. It was in 1120, when Bishop Urban rebuilt 
the Cathedral of Llandaff, that he dedicated it to S. Peter in con- 
junction with SS. Dubricius, Teilo, and Oudoceus. 

The association of S. Dubricius with Llandaff in the charters was 
due to a misapprehension, which it will be well here to consider. 
Dubricius received several concessions of land, mainly in Erging, 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 75. 2 Ibid., p. 72. 

3 Ibid., p. 74. 4 Ibid., p. 408. 

362 Lives of the British Saints 

as did also his disciples ; some, however, settled in Gower, and_some 
in Gwent. 

In 577 occurred the disastrous battle of Deorham, and the burning 
of Gloucester, Bath, and probably also Caerwent. This led to the 
settlement of the Hwiccas along the lower Severn, and to raids over 
the Wye into Erging, as we may conjecture. , - 

The monasteries of Dyfrig and his disciples in Ewyas and Erging 
were utterly wasted, and the monks escaped, carrying their relics 
and books with them. "Be it known," says a charter of the time 
of Bishop Berthguin, " that great tribulations and devastations took 
place in the time of Telpald and Ithail, kings of Britain, and this 
was due to the heathen Saxon race, and it was mainly on the con- 
fines of Britain and Anglia [towards Hereford], and it was so extensive 
that the whole borderland of Britain was almost destroyed, and much 
beyond the confines on both sides of Anglia and Britain, and mainly 
about the river Wye, on account of wars and frequent daily and 
nightly incursions, on one side and on the other. After a while, 
peace having been established, the land was restored by force and 
vigour (to its rightful owners) ; but it was swept bare and unoccu- 
pied, with men few and far between." x 

That some of the disciples of Dyfrig took refuge with S. Teilo at 
Llandaff we know, for their names occur as clerics at that p]ace. 2 

In the time of Berthguin, who succeeded S. Oudoceus, the dis- 
ciple and successor of Teilo, as the monasteries in Erging lay desolate, 
the flourishing Church of Llandaff, that enjoyed the favour of Ithail, 
son of Morcant, king of Morganwg and Glywysing, took possession of 
these abandoned sites, and re-occupied them. Thenceforth the 
Church of Llandaff assumed to be the legitimate inheritor of all the 
possessions of Dubricius and his disciples. It had harboured the 
refugees ; it -preserved their Books of the Gospels with the marginal 
records of grants ; and now it reoccupied their deserted seats. 

When, in the twelfth century, the compiler of the Book of Llan 
Ddv took these simple records in hand, partly in ignorance, partly 
with purpose, he adapted them, made Dubricius actually founder of 
Llandaff, and head over all the Churches of South Wales. 

After this long preamble we come to the Life of Dubricius. 

We will take the Vita i ma as our basis, supplementing it from 
the charters. But one observation we must make en this Life. 
Dr. Gwenogvryn Evans conjectures that the Book of Llan Ddv 
was drawn up by Geoffrey of Monmouth himself. But this is scarcely 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 192. " Hereford " is a late addition. 

2 Ibid., p. 131, cf. p. 80. 

S. Dubricius 363 

credible. We can hardly believe that if he took in hand to re- write 
the Life of S. Dubricius, he could have resisted the temptation of 
making it agree with the story of Dubricius as excogitated by himself 
in his History of the Kings of Britain. Instead of harmonizing with 
this latter, it contradicts it at every point. 

Pepiau, or Peipiau, 1 king of Erging or Archenfield, in Hereford- 
shire, son of Erb, King of Gwent and Erging, had a daughter 
named Efrddyl. 2 On his return from a warfaring expedition he 
asked her to wash his head ; and whilst she was thus engaged, he 
perceived that she was in the family-way. He was angry, and 
ordered her to be put in a skin bag and thrown into the river. She 
was, however, washed ashore, and then he sentenced her to be burnt 

Next morning he sent to inquire about her ashes, and the mes- 
sengers found her sitting on the pyre, nursing her new-born son. 
Pepiau ordered mother and child to be brought to him, and he took 
the infant in his arms. 

Now Pepiau was afflicted with a drivelling mouth, and two servants 
attended continually to wipe away the saliva with napkins. 3 It 
fell out that when the child on his lap stroked his cheeks, he was 
completely healed of his infirmity. Pepiau then granted to the child 
the place where it had been born, which was called Matle. Even- 
tually, a stone was set up on the spot in commemoration of the 
marvellous birth there of the child Dyfrig. 4 

1 The name would to-day be Peibio, as in Garth Beibio, a parish in Mont- 
gomeryshire, and Ynys Beibio, near Holyhead. According to the tale of 
Culhwch and Olwen (Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, p. 121) there were two 
kings, named Nynnio and Peibio. who were metamorphosed into horned oxen 
(ychen bannog) on account of their sins. They appear as insane kings, that were 
brothers, in the tale of Rhita Gawr (lolo MSS., p. 193). In the genealogies in 
Jesus College MS. 20 (i5th century) Pepiau is called Peibiawn Glawrawc, and 
made to be the son of Arbeth and father of Tewdwr. Pepiau 's Welsh epithet, 
Claforog ,or Clafrog, correctly means scabby or leprous. Glyfoer or glafoer, 
" drivel," would more accurately express his affliction. He was succeeded 
by his son Cinuin (Cynfyn). 

2 Ebrdil, Evrdil, Eurdil or Eurdila. 

3 " Spumam enim ab ore incessanter emittebat, quam duo clientes sine 
aliquius horae intervallo vix extergere poterant manutergiis." Ibid., p. 79. 
Lewis, in his History of Great Britain, describes his monument. " In Here- 
fordshire in a parish (probably he means Madley) is the picture of a king, with 
a man on each side of him, with napkins wiping the rheum and drivel from his 
mouth ; that humour so abounding in him that he could get no cure for it, 
which king the country people call King Driveller, the Britons Pebiau Gla- 
vorawc." (Quoted in Supplementary Notes to the Liber Landavensis, p. 8, 
appended to Cambro-British Saints.) 

* " Tenentem filium in gremio quern pepererat ad saxum quod ibidem positum 
est in testimonium mirae nativitatis pueri." Ibid., p. 79. 

364 Lives of the British Saints 

The story, however, looks much like a bit of folklore, of a piece 
with that associated with S. Cenydd and S. Cyndeyrn, and may have 
become attached to Dyfrig from his name being a derivative of dwfr 
(water) . 

According to the late Welsh genealogies Dyfrig was the son of 
Brychan l ; but the Cognatio does not recognize him. 

The lolo MSS. say that Dyfrig's mother was Eurbrawst, daughter 
of Meurig ab Tewdrig, king of Glamorgan, and that Brychan was 
his father. 2 But Eurbrawst, by whom is intended Onbrawst, was 
daughter of Gurcant Maur, and wife of Meurig ab Tewdrig, king of 
Morganwg, and consequently mother of Anna, who bore S. Samson. 3 

" The sons of Brychan were saints at Llancarfan and Llantwit ; 
afterwards they formed a college (cor) with Bishop Dyfrig at the 
Wig on the Wye " (Hentland), which is designated " the religious 
foundation of Brychan." 4 

" The religious foundation of the family of Ceredig ab Cunedda 
Wledig was the Cor of Dyfrig, Saint and Archbishop, at the Wig on 
the banks of the Wye, which was destroyed by the pagan Saxons." 5 
Cor Dyfrig, over which Dyfrig presided as principal (penrhaith], was 
composed of several minor cors, embracing in all two thousand saints. 6 
" Dyfrig ab Brychan is a Saint in Ceredigion," 7 confusing him very 
probably with the patron Saint of Llandyfriog. According to Peniarth 
MS. 75 (sixteenth century), he was a saint " in Brycheiniog. " It 
must be remembered that all these notices are several centuries later 
than the twelfth century Vita, and should therefore be taken simply 
for what they are worth. 

A more serious difficulty is presented by the charter already quoted 
of the grant of Cilhal to Dyfrig. This represents the grantor as 
Erb the father of Pepiau, and the clerical witnesses to the grant are 
all disciples of Dyfrig. That saint can hardly have been under 
thirty years old when given Cilhal, if he had clerical pupils. But 
it is inconceivable that he should have received a grant from his great- 
grandfather at that time. Yet one cannot reject the donation as a 
fiction, for if it had been a fabrication, the compiler of the Book of 

1 lolo MSS., pp. in, 119, 140; Myv. Arch., p. 419. The mistake seems to 
be due to a confusion cf names. Brychan had a son Papai (in the later lists 
Pahiali), and he has very probably been assumed to be Pepiau. 

2 P. 119. Another entry on p. 147 substitutes Rhybrawst for Eurbrawst, 
and states that she was his cousin and first wife. 

3 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 132, 140. 

4 lolo MSS., pp. 1 20, 121. 

5 Ibid., p. 125. Ibid., p. 151. 

7 Peniarth MS. 178 (sixteenth century); Myv. Arch., p. 424. 

~ \A/ (/v U 

S. Dubricius 365 

Llan Ddv would not have stultified himself by making a king give 
land to his middle-aged great-grandson. 

We may suspect that Efrddyl was sister, and not daughter of 

Matle, 1 the birthplace of S. E>ubricius, is Madley, in Hereford- 
shire, seven miles from Hereford. The church is nearly two miles from 
the Wye. The Watling Street, a Roman road, crosses the Wye 
and runs through the parish, aiming at Abergavenny. Beyond the 
river rises a wooded hill, 720 ft. high, commanding the ford, .and 
crowned with strong earthworks. We may suppose that here Pepiau 
had his residence. 

The name Dyfrig seems to mean " Waterling," and had originally 
the same significance as Dyfrwr. There is a small affluent of the 
Severn close to Worcester that was called Doferic (i.e.) Dyfric. A 
form Dyfrog also occurs in Dowrog Common and Dowrogpool, north- 
east of S. David's. 2 

We are not informed as to who was the instructor of S. Dyfrig, 
for we are obliged to .reject as worthless the assertions of Benedict of 
Gloucester concerning his association with SS. Germanus and Lupus. 
The narrative in the Vita i ma hurries on to the time when he was 
an abbot and master of Saints. We may suppose that in his early 
life he \vas much at Madley. 

The first important settlement made by Dyfrig was at Henllan, 
now Hentland on the Wye, about four and a half miles north-west 
from Ross, in low ground, a combe that descends to the river. Here 
he collected about him a great number of disciples, as many, it is 
said, as two thousand, probably at Llanfrother, in the parish, near the 
river. He remained there, however, for seven years only, 3 and then 
removed to Mochros, now Moccas, nearer his native place, from 
which it is distant five miles. 

It speaks well for the honesty of the compiler of the Book of Llan 
Ddv that he gives no grant of either Henllan or Mochros to Dubricius. 
The record of these donations was lost, and he did not fabricate false 
charters. The claim of the Church of Llandaff to Mochros was. 
based on a grant of the devastated site to Berthguin by Ithail. 4 

1 " Bonus locus ; eo quod in eo natus fuisset beatus homo." Book of Llan 
Ddv, p. 79. 

2 Owen, Pembrokeshire, i, p. 207, note. A Dubric, as clerical witness, 
attested three grants to Llandaff in the time of Bp. Catguaret (Book of Llan 
Ddv), pp. 209-11. 

3 Mille clericos per septem annos continuos in podo Hennlann super ripam 
Gui in studio litterarum . . . retenuit." Book of Llan Ddv, p. 80. 

4 Ibid., p. 192. 

366 Lives of the British Saints 

" There existed," says Mr. Newell, " a great monastic organization, 
of which Henllan or Mochros was regarded as the ' archmonastery ' " ; l 
and it was because Dubricius was head of this archmonastery that 
some colour was given to the conception of him as archbishop. " In 
later times the term archbishop was misunderstood, and was regarded 
as involving a primacy over other diocesan bishops, whereas it meant 
only the primacy of the episcopal abbot of the archmonastery over 
the episcopal abbots of subordinate monasteries. The claims both 
of the bishops of S. David's, and of the bishops of Llandaff to the 
title of archbishop were justifiable (for S. David's also was an arch- 
monastery), but only so long as they retained their daughter mon- 
asteries in subordination. When the episcopates became diocesan, 
the reason for the title expired, and in the time of Giraldus Cambrensis, 
or of the compiler of the Book of Llan Ddv, it was an anachronism." 

The choice of a site for his new monastery at Mochros was deter- 
mined characteristically. Dyfrig had possession of the land north- 
west of Madley, which belonged to his mother, and was called Inis 
Ebrdil. 2 It was not an island, but at Mochros the Wye made a 
great loop infolding a wooded tongue of land. The whole tract was 
also called Mais Mail Lochou, the Field of Mail Lochou or Malochu. 3 

As Dyfrig was searching in the tangled brake for a suitable spot 
on which to settle, he roused a white sow with her piglings, and at 
once accepted this as a good omen. There he planted his monastery 
Moch-ros, 4 the Swine-moor. Compare the similar legends in the 
Lives of SS. Kentigern, Cadoc and Brynach. 

About him swarmed students from all parts of Britain, and the 
names of the most important are given. The list begins with Teilo, 
but it is doubtful if he were ever under Dubricius. In the Life of 
S. Teilo nothing is said of this discipleship. Teilo was under Paulinus 
at Ty Gwyn, according to the narrative, but the compiler of the Book 
of Llan Ddv prefixed an introduction to the Life in which he pretends 
that Teilo had been a pupil of Dubricius. 5 

The second named is Samson, who was not a disciple of Dyfrig 
but of Illtyd. He was, however, ordained deacon and priest, and after- 
wards consecrated bishop by Dyfrig. Then come Ubeluius, Merch- 

1 Newell (E. J.), Llandaff, S.P.C.K., pp. 17-8. 

2 " Et per aliud spatium in nativitatis suae solio, hoc est Inis Ebrdil, eligens 
locum unum in angulo illiiis insulae opportunum silva et piscibus super ripam 
Gui," etc. Book of Llan Ddv, p. 80. 

3 Ibid., p. 165. 

4 There is a Mochras near Pwllheli, and another south of Harlech. 

5 " Sanctus Dubricius, qui hue usque fuerat suus praeceptor." Ibid. p. 98. 
This was written for a purpose, to link Dubricius with Teilo and Llandaff. 

S. Dubricius 367 

guinus, Elguoredus, Gunuinus, Congual, Arthbodu, Congur, Arguistil, 
Junabui, Conbran, Guoruan, Elheharn, Judnou, Guordocui, Guer- 
nabui, Louan, Aidan and Cinuarch. 

Most of these can be traced, but unhappily of none of them are Lives 
extant. Ufelwy or Ufelwyw (Ubeluius) is almost certainly the son of 
Cenydd, and grandson of Gildas. He must have been young when 
with Dyfrig ; he became a bishop and founded a church, Llancillo, 
in Herefordshire. He does not sign as witness otherwise than cleric 
in the lifetime of S. Dubricius, but was a bishop in the time of Meurig 
ab Tewdrig. 1 

Merchguin and Elguored became clerics at Llandaff, with S. Teilo, 
and are spoken of as electing S. Oudoceus, after the death of Teilo, 
to be his successor. 2 Gunuin was eventually a " magister " at 
Llandaff. 3 These three men probably retreated thither when Mochros 
was devastated by the Saxons. Arguistil became a bishop, and had 
a church at Llangoed, possibly Llangoed in Brecknockshire. 4 Junabui, 
Junapeius or Lunapeius was also a bishop. He was a cousin, 
" consobrinus," of S. Dubricius, and had churches at Lanloudy and 
Ballingham. 5 Guoruan or Gwrfan was a bishop as well, and 
settled near Llangors Lake in Brecknockshire. 6 Elheharn, 
Elhaiarn or Aelhaiarn was abbot of Garway. 7 Judnou was abbot 
of Bolgros in Madley. 8 Gwrddogwy was abbot of Dewchurch in 
Herefordshire. 9 Aidan was a bishop in the Golden Valley, on the Dore. 10 
Cynfarch was patron of Llangynfarch, now S. Kinemark's, in Mon- 
mouthshire, the boundaries of which include the site of the present 
town of Chepstow. 11 Congual, 12 Congur 13 and Arthbodu 14 were 
abbots and founders in Gower. Gwernabwy was j>rinceps of Garth 
Benni, or Welsh Bicknor. 15 The compiler of the Book of Llan Ddv has 
prefixed to the charters a tract " De primo statu Landavensis Ecclesiae," 
from his own pen, and he says that Dubricius, having obtained large con- 
cessions of land, separated his disciples, and sent them about to the 
churches given to him, and founded other churches and ordained 
bishops throughout Deheubarth as suffragans to himself. 16 The 

I Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 72, 76, 77, 80, 160-2. 

z Ibid., pp. go, 131. 3 Ibid., pp. 80, 131. * Ibid., pp. 80, 166. 

5 Ibid., pp. 72, 80, 163-4. * Ibid., pp. 80, 167-8. 

7 Ibid., pp. 80, 164, 1 66. 8 Ibid., pp. 80, 164. 

9 Ibid., pp. 80, 164, 166. 10 Ibid., pp. 80, 162-3. 

II Bye-Gones, 1889-90, p. 534. 12 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 80, 239. 
13 Ibid., pp. 80, 144-5, 2 39- 14 Ibid., pp. 80, 144. 

15 Ibid., pp. 75, 77, 80, 164, 166. 

16 " Partitus est discipulos ; mittens quosdam discipulorum suorum per 
ecclesias sibi datas, et quibusdam fundavit ecclesias et episcopos per dextralem 
Britanniam coadunatores sibiordinatis parochiis suis consecravit/'Ifo'd'., p. 71. 




S. Dubricius 369 

same tract asserts that Dubricius was created " summum doctorem " 
by King Meurig, and was consecrated archbishop by Germanus and 
Lupus, and that his archiepiscopal seat was placed at Llandaff. This 
is, of course, wholly false. It was what the compiler wished and 
imagined might have taken place, but which never did happen. 

When the compiler set to work arranging and amplifying the 
notices of grants made, not in the least understanding the conditions 
of ecclesiastical affairs in the Celtic Church, and finding a number 
of bishops among the disciples of S. Dubricius, he assumed that they 
must have been Bishops of Llandaff, and he accordingly arranged 
them, as such, in an arbitrary succession after Oudoceus, and by 
dexterously manipulating the deeds of grants, he made it appear as 
if all these concessions had been made to the Church of Llandaff. 

The number of churches founded by S. Dubricius, as far as can be 
ascertained, and settled by his disciples, was about four-and-twenty ; 
and the sites of the majority of these can be determined with some 
approach to certainty. 

The tract of land from Madley to the line of hills that en- 
closes the Dore Valley- juts into the river Wye. Between that 
range and the Wye was Ynys Efrddyl. Ynys did not necessarily 
mean an island ; the word was employed for a tongue of land, and 
even sometimes for a monastic possession shut off, insulated from 
the world. Here, perhaps at Madley, was Llan Efrddyl, and near it 
the Abbey of Bolgros. At its extreme limit to the north was also 

The Valley of the Dore bore the name of Cornubium. The name 
also occurs as Cerniu. But it may be questioned whether this is 
not a misconception for Coenobium. There seems to be no reason 
why a valley should be called after a " horn," and it does appear 
to have been given up to monastic establishments. Here was Cum 
Barruc, otherwise known as Lann Cerniu, and also Mavurn, the 
exact position of which is not known. 

Another foundation of Dyfrig was Henllan, now Hentland, already 
mentioned, but the original situation was near the river. 

Lann Custenhin Garth Benni was Welsh Bicknor, folded about 
by the Wye. Lann Junabui is now Llandinabo, and not, as the editors 
of the Book of Llan Ddv supposed, Bredwardine. 

Lann Bocha or Mocha is now S. Maughan's. Tir Conloc is thought 
to be Eaton Bishop. Cilhal is probably Pencoyd. Lann Garth, 
now Llanarth, in Monmouthshire ; Lann Sulbiu, now Llancillo ; Lann 
Guorboe was in Ynys Efrddyl. Lann Loudeu is now Lanloudy in 
Herefordshire ; Lann Coit perhaps Llangoed in Brecknockshire. 


3 7 o Lives of the British Saints 

Lann Garan was in the valley of the Garan. And in Gower were Lann 
Mergualt, Lann Arthbodu and Forth Tulon. In Brecknockshire was a 
church on Llangors lake. At the mouth of the Wye, Lann Cinmarch 
or Chepstow ; and Penally, near Tenby, in Pembrokeshire. 

If we look at the grants made to Dubricius, we see what actually 
was the extent of his jurisdiction. 

He received Lann Custenhin Garth Benni or Welsh Bicknor, in Erg- 
ing, and this he had from Pepiau, whose wife was a daughter of Cystennin 
Gorneu, 1 and who may have wished the Church of Constantine, 
his father-in-law, to remain in the hands of one of the family. Welsh 
Bicknor is almost surrounded by the Wye, and formed a detached 
portion of Monmouthshire, although on the Herefordshire side of 
the river. Pepiau also gave to Dubricius Lann Cerniu, which has 
been supposed to be where afterwards stood Abbey Dore. Another 
grant was of Lann Junabui, now Llandinabo, over which at one time 
Junapeius presided. Cum Barruc, granted by the sons of Pepiau, 
was in the Vale of Dore. Lann Mocha, another grant, now S. 
Maughan's, is in Gwent Uwch Coed, Monmouthshire. What was 
its original name we do not know ; the compiler has given us that 
which was known to him. Cilhal, or Pencoyd, close to Hentland, 
has been already spoken of as a perplexing grant, because represented 
as made by the great-grandfather of Dyfrig. Tir Conloc, a grant made 
by Pepiau, is supposed to be Eaton Bishop in Herefordshire. Forth 
Tulon was a concession of Merchguin, son of Gliuis, and was in Gower ; 
and finally Penn Alun is Penally near Tenby. Llanarth was in 
Gwent Uwch Coed. 

Thus the vast majority of the holdings of Dubricius were in Erging, 
but by some means he secured Penally in Pembrokeshire. The 
explanation of his getting this is probably as follows : Dubricius, 
following the usual custom of Celtic Saints, sought out an island to 
which he might retreat in Lent, and as such as were near his settle- 
ments were already occupied, he went afield and secured Caldey 
Isle. To this we know, from the Life of S. Samson, that he was wont 
to retire for the forty days of Lent. There he seems to have founded 
a monastery over which he placed Piro, but, as we judge from the 
Life of S. Samson, he retained supreme rule in his own hands, dis- 
placing a cellarer, investigating charges made against the monks, 
and on the death of Piro nominating a successor. An early inscribed 
stone, in Ogam and Latin, has been discovered on the island. 
The now imperfect Ogam inscription reads, MAGL DUBR, which 
seems to mean "the (tonsured) servant of Dubricius." 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 72. 

S. Dubricius 371 

As founder and Abbot of Caldey, he would obtain influence in the 
neighbourhood, and so acquire a grant of land over against Caldey, 
at Penally. The grant of Penally, in the Book of Llan Ddv, 1 to him 
by Noe ab Arthur, King of Dyfed in the early eighth century, is, of 
course, an anachronism. 

Now it so happened that Penally was the birthplace of S. Teilo, 
and it is b}^ no means impossible that Dyfrig may have noticed the 
clever, pious child, and have directed his early education at Caldey, 
till he was ready to be sent to Paulinus at Ty Gwyn. 

It is not so easy to understand how Dubricius got a foothold in Gower, 
but that he did so is clear, for not only did he receive a concession 
there, but three of his disciples became abbots and founders there. 
Possibly it may have been through the influence of S. Cenydd of 
Gower, whose son Ufelwy was his pupil ; and he may have taken 
up Cenydd's work there when that Saint moved to Brittany. 

On his way to Caldey and back, Dubricius visited Llancarfan and 
Llantwit. He exercised no jurisdiction there. They were indepen- 
dent monasteries ; but he was welcomed and invited to exercise epis- 
copal functions in Llantwit, where there was probably at the time 
no bishop to ordain and consecrate candidates. 

Tradition associates him loosely with Llancarfan. He had a 
station, it is said, near it, at Garn Llwyd, where is his holy well. In- 
deed, he is credited with having had a large hand in the founding 
of the Choir of Cadoc at Llancarfan, and is said to have been its prin- 
cipal before Cadoc. It is further stated that he was confessor 
(periglor) to S. Germanus there 2 ; but he is not mentioned once in 
the Life of S. Cadoc. He it was, however, who had confirmed Gwyn- 
llyw, the father of Cadoc, in his resolve to lead the eremitical life 
in his old age, 3 and who ministered to him at his departure from 
this world. 4 

His association with S. Illtyd was more intimate. When Illtyd 
was converted, he went at once to Dubricius, " who enjoined penance 
on him for his past misdeeds ; he shaved his beard, he cut his hair, 
he consecrated his crown." And it was Dubricius who " fixed the 
bounds of the burial-place" at Llantwit. 5 Dubricius it was who 
consecrated Deiniol to Bangor, 6 He was present at the Synod of 

1 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 77, 133. 

2 lolo MSS., pp. 1 1 3, 1 19, 1 3 r. At the first reference there is a list of thirteen 
Saints of Cadoc's Cdr, who are said to have gone with Dyfrig to Bardsey ; but 
no reliance can be placed on these documents. 

3 Vita S. Gundlei in Cambro-British Saints, p. 148. 
* Ibid., p. 150. 

5 Vita S. Iltuti in ibid., p. 163. Book of Llan Ddv, p. 71. 

372 Lives of the British Saints 

Llanddewi Brefi ; and it was he and Deiniol who induced David to 
attend it. 1 

We do not, unfortunately, know the date of the gathering of this 
Council, but it was some years before the Synod of Victory, which 
took place, according to the Annales Cambria, in 569. We do not 
learn that Dubricius attended this latter. We have shown, under 
S. Cadoc, that the date of the Council of Llanddewi Brefi was about 


Dyfrig was ailing some time after Samson had quitted Wales, and 
he had resolved on giving up his archmonastery, and retiring to 
die in Enlli, with his eyes on the setting sun sinking into the mysteri- 
ous Western Sea. 

Whilst he was thus minded, Samson visited him, and Dyfrig com- 
mitted to him a favourite deacon, named Morinus, of whom he had 
a high opinion. Samson did not relish the charge. There was some- 
thing in the man's restless eye that made him distrust Morinus ; but 
he submitted rather than offend the venerable man who had ordained 
him. Subsequent events showed that his prejudice was not un- 
founded. 2 

How long Dubricius lived after his resignation we do not know, 
but probably not many months. 

The Annales Cambrics and the Vita i ma say that he died in 612, 
but this is inadmissible. A footnote in the lolo MSS. 3 says that he 
died in 560, aged 85, but this is a guess. 

S. vSamson, whom Dyfrig had ordained deacon and priest and con- 
secrated bishop, died about 560, and Dyfrig belonged to an earlier 
generation. He must have died about 550 at the latest, probably 
before the outbreak of the Yellow Plague, as there is no mention of 
it in his Life. We should suppose that he died about 546. 

To determine the dates of the various events in the Life of S. Dubri- 
cius is not possible ; all that we can do is to ascertain the period at 
which he lived. Whatsoever is told of association with S. Germanus 
must be dismissed as fiction. 

Dyfrig assisted in the conversion of S. Illtyd, then in full vigour 
of manhood. Illtyd died before S. Samson crossed into Brittany 
and settled at Dol. The probable date of his death is circa 527-537. 

Dyfrig ministered to Gwynllyw, father of Cadoc, on his death- 
bed, and Cadoc died in or about 577. He ordained and consecrated 
S. Samson, who subscribed the decrees of the Council of Paris in 557, 
and who had crossed the channel and settled in Brittany 

1 Vita S. David in Cambro-British Saints, p. 137. 

2 See Life of S. Samson. P. 519. 

S. Dubricius 373 

Teilo, who is represented doubtfully as a pupil of Dyfrig, but who 
was certainly contemporary with the disciples of that Saint, fled 
from Wales at the outbreak of the Yellow Plague in 547, and returned 
about 556. When he abandoned his charge in Wales he went to 
Brittany " adducens secum quosdam suffraganos episcopos suos." l 
The bishops who accompanied him were not his suffragans, but, as 
we judge, some of those who had been under Dyfrig ; for we find 
the names of some half a dozen of the disciples of the latter among 
the witnesses to grants made to Teilo. 

Probably the Yellow Plague had committed such ravages that on 
the return of the refugee monks and bishops to Gwent they were 
not able to re-occupy all their churches ; and this may have been the 
first stage in the incorporation of the Dubricius churches in the see 
of Llandaff. The disciples of Dyfrig who attached themselves to 
Teilo, and who we may conjecture had accompanied him to Brittany, 
and found their churches desolate on their return, were Arguistil, 
Elguoret, Conguarui, Conbran, Judnou, Guordocui, Merchguin and 
Gunuin. But of all these only Arguistil or Arwystl was a bishop ; 
some of the others were abbots. 2 

When we come to consider Dubricius in connexion with the princes 
of Erging, Gwent and Morganw T g we do not obtain much help for 
fixing his date. 

The perplexing charter of Cilhal 3 makes him contemporary with 
Erb, father of Pepiau, and his reputed great-grandfather. From 
Pepiau he received several grants, and some from the sons of Pepiau. 
He was certainly the contemporary of Meurig ab Tewdrig, king of 
Morganwg, who made him a grant, 4 and who was the grandfather 
of Samson, whom Dyfrig ordained deacon and priest and consecrated 
bishop. Meurig is represented in the Life of S. Oudoceus as having 
lived on till Oudoceus was elected bishop in the room of Teilo, 5 and 
this is confirmed by grants made by him and his sons to Oudoceus. 6 
Now Oudoceus was born in or about 546, and can hardly have be- 
come abbot-bishop of Llandaff before 580. This gives to Meurig 
a very lengthy reign. His grandson Morgan Mwynfawr died in 665. 7 
It is difficult to suppose that Meurig can have outlived his grandson 
Samson, and been lusty enough in his old age to have committed a 
murder, for which he was excommunicated by Oudoceus, 8 and al- 

1 Vita S. Tcliaui in Book of Llan Ddv, p. 108. 

2 See Index to Book of Llan Ddv for each name. 

3 Book of Llan Ddv, p. 75. 4 Ibid., p. 74. 

5 Vita S. Oudocei, ibid., pp. 131-2. 6 Ibid., pp. 143-5, '4/-9- 

~ Annales Cambria, ed. Phillimore in Y Cymmrodor, ix, p. 159. 
8 Book of Llan Ddv, pp. 147-8. 

374 Lives of the British Saints 

though the record is precise, one is inclined to suspect that there 
were two of the name, princes in Morganwg and Gwent, and that the 
compiler of the Book of Llan Ddv has confounded them. 1 

From what we have seen it is difficult to hold that Dubricius 
can have lived after 540 or 546 at the latest. 

That he had anything to do with Llandaff cannot be allowed. 

We venture to suggest the following sequence of events connected 
with Dubricius and his churches, 

Dyfrig born at Madley about the year 450 

He founds Henllan 470 

Removes after seven years to Mochros 477 

Ordains S. Samson bishop at Llantwit 530 

Retires to Enlli and dies 546 

The outbreak of the Yellow Plague and flight of Teilo and 

abandonment of several of the Dubricius Churches . . . 547 

Return of Teilo 556 

Some of the disciples of Dubricius remain with Teilo, who secures 

certain of the Dubricius sites. 2 

Devastation of Erging by the Hwiccas after the battle of Deorham 577 
Death of Teilo and election of Oudoceus to Llandaff .... 580 
Oudoceus sets to work to reoccupy the desolate sites in Gower 3 and 

Erging, and obtains the grant of Mochros 4 

Oudoceus dies and Berthguin succeeds 620 

Berthguin obtains a concession of the rest of the Dubricius sites in 

Erging and reoccupies them. 5 
The estates of Llandaff are further increased by grants made by 

Morcant, grandson of Mouric, to Berthguin. 
Morcant, K. of Gwent and Glywysing, dies 665 

1 That this is so appears from a grant made to Oudoceus by Meurig the king, 
and Judic, son of Nud, which is witnessed by Morgan the king. This Meurig 
can hardly be the grandfather of Morgan Mwynfawr. Book of Llan Ddv, p. 150. 

2 " Sancta ecclesia quae multo tempore fuerat dispersa, interveniente 
Teliavo . . . fuit exaltata." Ibid., p. 115. 

3 " Agrum quidam Sancti Dubricii in patria Guhyr, quern Sanctus Oudoceus 
a tempore mortalitatis, id est y dylyt melen, perdiderat usque ad tempus Athruis 
filii Mourici. Post vero contentionem magnam inter Oudoceum episcopum et 
abattem Ilduti Biuon qui dicebat suum esse agrum ; in fine vero judicio 
judicatus est ager predictus Oudoceo episcopo et altari Landaviae in perpetua 
hereditate." Ibid., p. 144. 

1 " Locus Mocrosi super Guy quern priori tempore beatus vir Dubricius 
prius inhabitaverat, dono et concessione Mourici regis et principum datus est 
ecclesiae Landaviae." Ibid., p. 71. 

" Sciendum est quod evenerunt magnse tribulationes et vastationes in 
tempore Telpaldi et Ithaili regum Britanniae et a Saxonica gente infidelissima, 
et maxime in confinibus Britanniae et Angliae versus Herfordiam ; in tantum 
quod Britanniae totum confinium fere deletum est ... et circa flumen Guy 
maxime, propter bella et saepe facta diurna et nocturna inter utrasque. Post 
tempus, sedata pace, restituta est vi sua et fortitudine terra sua quamvis deleta 
et inhabitata, raro homine et rara peste cuique Britanno in illis partibus per- 
petrato federe Et rex Judhail omnibus superstitibus reddidit patrimonia . . . 
et Berthguino episcopo sua loca reddidit per omnia, et Sanctis." Ibid., p. 192. 
The list follows of Dubricius' churches given over to Llandaff. 

S. Dubricius 


Ithail, son of Morcant, continues to enrich Llandaff. So does 
Fernvail, son of Ithail. 

The pedigree of the princes of Gwent and of Erging, as far as can 
be deduced from the Book of Llan Ddv, is as follows. The names in 
brackets are not taken from the Book of Llan Ddv. 

Erb, King of Gwent and Erging 

Pepiau=(da. of Cystennin 
I Gorneu) 

Teudiric 1 

Mouric = 
K. Mor- 

11 Cin 



uin Guidci Cinust Ebrdil 

(Mawr), K. of Erging S. Dubricius, 
d. c. 546 

= Onbraust 

1 1 

Morcant Caratauc 


(Anna = 
Amvvn Ddu 


S. Samson, 
d. c. 560) 

1 1 1 

(Afrella = Athruis, Frioc 
Umbrafel K. Morganwg murdered by 
| | Morcant 
S. Maglorius, Morcant (Mwynfawr) 
d. c. 586) [? two of this name 
in succession] K. 
Morganwg d. 665 

Gwyndaf Hen 

S. Meugant) 

Ithail = ? Ricenneth 
K. Morganwg and Gwent 








Fernvail, d. 775 
= Ceincair 



There was a Judhail, king of Gwent, who, according to the Annales 
Cambrics, was killed by the men of Brycheiniog in 848, but this was 
long subsequent to the Judhail or Ithail, son of Morcant ; and it is 
to Judhail ap Morcant that is due a grant of Dubricius sites to Berth-